The aim of this study was to verify the performances of men and women in a discriminative test of sound harmonics perception, and the effect of prior learning on this discrimination. The experiment was conducted using 17 men and 17 women, who were individually submitted to an experimental session with a standard questionnaire and a sound perception test comprising 20 attempts recorded on a CD-ROM. The statistical analysis of the data shows that subjects, both with and without experience of learning a musical instrument, have a difference in performance in the test [F(1.33) = 14.69, p<0.001]. Though not significant, women displayed a better performance in the group without learning, and in the group with experience, men showed better performance. The data show that, though there may be differences between the genders in terms of sound perception, previous experience is ostensibly the most important factor in this type of discrimination.
Learning; Gender differences; Perceptual discrimination; Musical perception