The following article claims there’s scientific evidence that men are smarter than women. It’s from The Australian. Apparently there’s already been a big debate about it in London.
Men win IQ test in battle of sexes
Half the population will dismiss this story – but a new study claims the cleverest people are far more likely to be male than female. Men are more intelligent than women by about five IQ points on average, making them better suited for tasks of high complexity, according to the authors of a paper due to be published in the British Journal of Psychology.
Genetic differences in intelligence between the sexes helped explain why many more men than women won Nobel Prizes or became chess grandmasters, the study by Paul Irwing and Richard Lynn concludes. They showed that men outnumbered women in increasing numbers as intelligence levels rose. There were twice as many with IQ scores of 125, typical for people with first-class degrees. When scores rose to 155, associated with genius, there were 5.5 men for every woman.
Dr Irwing, a senior lecturer in organisational psychology at Manchester University, said he was uncomfortable with the findings. However, he said, the evidence was clear, despite the insistence of many academics that there were no meaningful gender differences in levels of intelligence. “For personal reasons I would like to believe men and women are equal, and broadly that’s true,” he said. “But over a period of time the evidence in favour of biological factors has become stronger and stronger. I have been dragged in a direction that I don’t particularly like, but it would be sensible if the debate was based on what we pretty much know to be the case.”
The findings come from a study of 24,000 British students, and will intensify a battle of the sexes that was triggered last week by a BBC newscaster, Michael Buerk, who complained that life was now being lived according to women’s rules. Buerk said men had been reduced to little more than sperm donors because of the female dominance of society.
Professor Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, is no stranger to inflammatory conclusions as the author of several publications arguing there are differences in intelligence between racial groups. He published a study in 2003 that identified a clear correlation between the levels of prosperity in 60 countries and the average IQ of their populations. Professor Lynn argued in a letter to The Psychologist this month that differences between the sexes were explained by a link between IQ and brain size.
“Men have larger brains than women by about 10 per cent and larger brains confer greater brain power,” he said. “So men must necessarily be on average more intelligent than women.”
I don’t know what to think of this. It might unleash a firestorm on this side of the pond, too, methinks.
Anyway, some points against, mostly from a comments thread at Bitch Ph.D.:
1. IQ tests are not the best measurement of intelligence.
2. Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman tested only 125.
3. IQ tests are devised by a patriarchal society to favor the patriarchy.
4. Women won’t do well on IQ tests because they’re taught that smart isn’t sexy.
5. They say male distribution is broader, meaning men have more geniuses yet also more low-IQ members. That may explain these results.
6. There’s the Flynn Effect, which shows that IQ points have gone up over the last 100 years by a point a year, which might mean that people fought the First World War because they were morons. Or that two hundred years ago, people were dumber than dogs.
7. IQ tests don’t measure social intelligence. Studies show women are smarter at social relationships than men.
8. The newspaper might be lying. It’s owned by Rupert Murdoch.
9. The research might be biased. Who are these guys anyway?
10. IQ measures an abstract puzzle-solving intelligence. According to Gardner, there are many more intelligences than are measured by IQ tests. Emotional intelligence, for one.
11. Click here for an article on gender brain differences.
12. In the election, men favored Bush by a 55% to 44% margin. Women favored Kerry by a 51% to 48% margin.
13. Elephant brains are bigger than men’s brains. But they don’t take IQ tests.
14. The only thing IQ tests measure is the ability to take IQ tests.
For the record, my Dad was great at Math, but couldn’t hold a tune, and my Mom had perfect pitch, and could play the piano like Horowitz.