My best friend, a little boy who lived across the street, would torment me with spiders. Spiders didn't seem to scare the boys. Even though I was a tomboy—matchbox cars, a skateboard, and a constant coating of dirt—spiders freaked me out.
But when the couple who lived down the street told us there were snakes in their large ivy lawn, I wasn't the least bit afraid. Who cared about snakes? But my best friend was terrified, as were the other little boys in the neighborhood. (Looking back, the couple probably told us about the snakes so we'd stay out of the ivy.)
Around that time, the first Indiana Jones movie came out. And he, too, was afraid of snakes! If brave Indy was afraid of snakes, little-kid-me knew I was onto something. All men must have an irrational fear of snakes. But women? We knew better.
I was too young to have it occur to me that most *people* were creeped out by snakes. I just didn't happen to be one of them.
Because of my childhood theory about the gender divide of the fear of snakes, I grew up even less scared of snakes than I otherwise might have been. Since I assumed little girls didn't fear snakes, I had no reason to be afraid. Snakes are cool, not scary. But spiders? That's another story.