Rachel is the knitting ninja at my LYS and we always have interesting conversations. I went in last Friday night to get some yarn for my parctice scarf and I was telling her about MWN and what a cool and helpful group you all were and then the conversation veered to the differece between the men and women knitting students that she has had. She claims that men approach knitting fearlessly while women are far more trepidatious and that men advance into more complex kntting much more quickly. She thinks that its a nurture thing - that boys are raised playing adventure games that include a lot of spacial relations where as girls play more nurturing type games. Boys are constantly told "You can do it." while girls get "This is too hard for you."
I don't know, its kind of a big generalization and my experience is only with a couple of middle aged women that I ocasionally knit with and they do resist learning anything new about technique but they do a lot of expoloration in color and texture. I would be interested to see if any of you have had the experience as Rachel.