Women who run for cover when coming face-to-face with a spider have been offered a new explanation for their phobia: it is in their genes.
Research at a US university found females associate the eight-legged critters with fear more than males, most of whom react with indifference.
Psychologist Dr David Rakison from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University tested 10 girls and 10 boys, all aged 11-months, with pictures of spiders to see how they reacted.
He showed them images of a spider next to a fearful cartoon face and a spider next to a happy face.
Dr Rakison's report, published in the New Scientist, states that the girls looked at the picture containing a happy face for longer than the scared one.
However, the boys looked at both images for an equal amount of time.
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