A new study from the University of Toronto shows that, while girls and women test lower on certain spatial skills, playing action-based video games over a period of time eliminates the discrepancy:
This is very interesting because most of the prior studies seem to indicate that the discrepancy is a biological "fait accomplit" that creates a a barrier of entry. To the contrary, Spence at al seem to be showing that with practice, the brain can actually be rewired to improve in these areas.
This leads to an inevitable, and probably unprovable, research question: Are these differences genetically predisposed or are they "prewired" though socio-cultural and cognitive input in childhood? Is it possible that the activities boys are encouraged to do, including video game playing, wire their minds differently? If anyone is aware of any research on this, let us know!