what an interesting thread. I teach part time at a dry slope near London, UK, and the majority of clients we get are trying it out before spending a lot of money on a snow holiday. In my experience, the older women seem to have the most difficulty learning to ski - not through any physical limitations, but because they believe they can't do it (my signature comes from something I say to every single woman I teach). I'm 36, and learnt to ski 4 years ago, so I can easily remember what its like to learn. But there seems to be a massive difference between me and the ladies I teach. The younger teenage girls just giggle and try to pull down their crop t-shirts. The older ladies have a real fear of falling and hurting themselves. But in the main, they seem to start off by thinking they can't do it. I swear to God, once I work out why women believe they can't ski, I'm going to make my millions out of it!
I do truly believe that if you think you can do it, you can, to whatever level you decide, and I spend my teaching hours trying to get these ladies into this mind set. Once they have taken this on board, they ski like graceful demons, it takes the pressure off them, and they learn to love it.
I'm interested in the comments which talk about the aggressiveness of skiing, and how women are not traditionally aggressive. This is true in many ways, but whoever said you have to ski black runs all the time? Most of the ladies I teach want to potter quite happily, and technically well on blue runs, and enjoy the feeling of grace and elegance that comes from basic paralleling - to me, once they can do that, that makes them a success and they don't need to be aggressive to do this.
In my experience also, the majority of younger girls are learning to snowboard, because of its trendy image. Skiing to them has a 'fuddy duddy' inage, and they don't see it as as much fun as skiing. There's an interesting point here.
So, sorry for rambling, but to me, the main issue seems to be completely about confidence, self-esteem, and belief in the self to learn new things. Once those ladies clock onto that, the skiing follows. To me, therefore, it's not about nature, but completely about nurture, and the historical fact that women were brought up to me more self-effacing than men. You say you're not good often enough, you start to believe it.