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Report Claims Men More Intelligent Than Women 1523

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the written-by-men dept.
Jeremy Dean writes "In controversial research reported all over the place, Richard Lynn, the emeritus professor of psychology at Ulster University claims that, on average, men are more intelligent than women. Let battle commence! As the research is not yet published there's nothing more to go on than the press reports. The co-author of the study, Dr Irwing, a senior lecturer in organisational psychology at Manchester University, is apologetic about the findings. In the BBC News report he states that the paper will go on to argue that despite their disadvantage in IQ, there is evidence that women utilise their (lesser!) talents better than men. This simply begs the question of what use IQ tests are if they don't predict anything in the real world."
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Report Claims Men More Intelligent Than Women

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  • by orz (88387) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:13AM (#13404077)
    This simply begs the question of what use IQ tests are if they don't predict anything in the real world.
    I have not read the article yet, but the last study I read that dealt with IQ (the controversial study on Ashkenazi genetic diseases and intelligence) cited some sources saying that IQ testing is the best known predictor for salary, family stability, and a whole bunch of other things.
  • by johnrpenner (40054) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:14AM (#13404079) Homepage

    IQ is only part of the picture.
    some people consider 'EQ' (emotional intelligence)
    to be a greater predictor of 'success in the real world'.
    regards,
    j [earthlink.net].

  • Wow.. amazing. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:16AM (#13404102)
    There have been so many studies showing women have better interconnection between their right and left brains and better verbal skills than men.

    The popular theory (which is considered pretty darn solid) is that over thousands of years women have been more closely tied to the children, and been more closely involved in teaching them, therefore requiring better verbal and descriptive skills.

    As descriptive skills involve producing a concrete definition for what often is abstract, it can be applied elsewhere, such as producing concrete solutions for abstract problems. I suspect that if social structures were less discouraging, women would most certainly be the best in fields such as urban planning and computer science.

    Disclaimer: I am male
  • by Quirk (36086) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:21AM (#13404152) Homepage Journal
    Jump over to the Edge and read or download the PINKER VS. SPELKE [edge.org] debate. The points made by both parties lay a good foundation for looking at this issue.

    A brief setup for the debate reads:"...on the research on mind, brain, and behavior that may be relevant to gender disparities in the sciences, including the studies of bias, discrimination and innate and acquired difference between the sexes."

  • Re:Uh oh! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arbitraryaardvark (845916) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `raebtg'> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:21AM (#13404161) Homepage Journal
    Based on reading the article, it isn't clear the women were given any incentives to do well on the test. No cookie, nothing. What I deduced was that women are smarter, and thus more likely to game the results, appearing a little less smart than they are.
    In a competitive social environment, there is a tactical advantage to being a little smarter than people think you are. Apparently women are a bit more in touch with this strategy. Run the study again, but tell them there's a $100 payoff for scores over 125, and watch the scores jump.
    I might be wrong, but it's testable.
  • Re:Oh boy... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Velox_SwiftFox (57902) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:27AM (#13404204)
    I just wonder if they checked at the lower levels of IQ too - in my experience, some of the most obvious dullards I know are male.

    Maybe more women are simply "normal"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:33AM (#13404248)
    There's a book on it that will tell you. www.amazon.com

    Basically, EQ is a measure of how well you think under emotional stress. For instance, you could be the most intelligent human being to have ever existed, but if you anger easily, your intelligence counts for nothing. Once you're emotionally affected, your logical brain shuts off and you're operating on "fight or flight" instincts. The reason for this is because the part of your brain that thinks logically evolved from the older part of your brain that feels emotions. So emotions trump logic, unless you learn ways to over come that. This is what the book is all about.
  • Re:Oh boy... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TiredGamer (564844) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:43AM (#13404321)
    Feminism and anti-feminism collide to produce a society that thinks pretty girls who don't know anything are fine as long as they're pushy about what they (think) they want and can get into any job they desire (just make sure to have a lawyer). You get enough female representation to make soccer moms feel like they're being spoken for, but few enough so that male authority remains dominant. Studies like this just continue this double-talk nature of telling the public women are dumb compared to men, but they make up for it with their other "talents".

    Am I jaded that I think real feminism is dead? It seems to just be token responses, overhyped overreactions by femi-nazis, and teenage girls who just wanna have lots of sex and look good. Did the 60's and 70's women's lib movement really happen or was that some acid-induced dream?
  • Re:Oh boy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jericho4.0 (565125) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:43AM (#13404324)
    That's probably true. IQ of a population, by design, graphs as a bell curve [wikipedia.org]. Graphed separately, the male curve is a little to the right and wider than the female, meaning males have more dunces and idiots.

    Lynn and others have published on this before. I haven't read this paper, but "men are smarter" is probably still a gross oversimplification of the data.

  • My first thought (Score:5, Interesting)

    by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gm ... om minus painter> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:47AM (#13404355) Homepage Journal
    Is that nerds tend to be somewhat sexist. Not obnoxiously sexist, but sexist nonetheless. How many of us think that if everything else was equal that women would be equally recognized in IT, CS, etc? Maybe part of the problem is a certain level of sexual frustration on the part of the stereotypical nerd, but many of us are married, so what gives?

    Now, paradoxically, this means something very strange. When a woman gets involved in a nerdy subject (like open source software) she often gets preferential treatment on the email lists. Why? because the nerds are all in awe that a woman is interested in this stuff. Unfortunately, I am not the only one to notice this.....

    I will admit that I used to be much more sexist in this way than I am now. Now, because my free time is much more variable, I don't take as much time to care about whether the email was written by a man or a woman.....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:50AM (#13404380)
    I wonder why intelligent people are not more popular. You would think being smarter would equal understanding how things work or solving problems better than others. Becoming popular is nothing but understanding a social structure and learning the language of this structure. In other words a problem to be solved. Therefore smarter people should be by the nature of their intelligence more popular and more socially accepted. Yet they are not.

    I'm sure there are very intelligent people who are very popular and have great social skills. But evidence seems to support that this is rare. There seems to be more that one kind of intelligence and being good in one sometimes translates being bad in another. Also that all these types are equally beneficial in their own ways.
  • by websters (854886) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:18AM (#13404539)
    With your historical bent, maybe you could point out that the history of IQ tests according to http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/i/in /intelligence_quotient.htm [absoluteastronomy.com] and http://www.audiblox2000.com/dyslexia_dyslexic/dysl exia014.htm [audiblox2000.com] has more to do with Alfred Binet in France in 1904 diagnosing learning disabilities in children.

    If those 2 links are wrong, perhaps you could point me towards a source for the correct data. Damn, since I don't take standardized tests to know whether I'd score in the top 1%, it's taken me until just this moment to recognise a troll ;-)
  • Apples and Oranges (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seinethinker (129155) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:18AM (#13404545) Homepage Journal
    I don't comment much on Slashdot.org. I mostly read and analyze the information provided. I check out comments from time to time. Being a female, I do feel inclined to comment on this post.

    I simply do not regard this gentleman's research to have any bearing on me or the makeup of my mind. I am not insipid or stupid. I am sure I am ignorant of subjects that hold little interest for me just like many others, male or female.

    If some men want to be brash and make a cockup of things in the world, let them dine on cheese and wine. I have more fruitful endeavors to pursue such as my own education, my contributions to society as a worker, educator, and a mother to my future children.

    Though some men would like to dimiss us, women have played significant roles in the development of men. That is no small feat. Raising children is a critical process of life and a daunting one.

    Women have a great capacity to contribute to the world just like men. We have in fact contributed many things in various fields.

    Society plays a huge role in grooming people. Of course, there is a certain amount of free will, but conditioning is a powerful thing. As a woman, when I look at magazines, television, etc, women are not treated the same as men. Women are provided with superficial imagery and the conditioning it imposes, which is to be beautiful, be thin, be popular, date (i.e. date good looking or someone with money) guys, get married and have children.

    Things are not not as rigid like they were in the past. However, the importance of looks and stereotypical female roles of the past are still blindly emphasized and are jejune.

    Stereotypes are one of the biggest issues facing everyone and women. However, there is also the ingracious facet of human behavior of survival of by any means necessary, and if this means, subverting a group within the human race to make sure another is on top, it will happen. It seems one of the faults of our design.

    It could have always worked the other way around with women on top and men on bottom. Unfortunately, women, as a collective majority, not speaking individually, have begrudgely faced this assimiliation into a stereotypical, conditioned servitude for some time now.

    When we do speak up, we are often dismissed, belittled, or made fun of. I really wish that the men out there who feel inclined to inflict pain upon us, put us down, etc could really understand how much they are undermining society due to a selfish, egotistic, ingrating need to be top dog.

    NOTE: I say some men not all.
  • Re:Oh boy... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:25AM (#13404580)
    The Y chromosome is much smaller, and more limited in scope than the Y chromosome, so I doubt it some strange instability of the chromosome. I think it's more a matter evolutionary behavior, women are more adapted for fitting into the group and being normal. While men make gains by being more in the realm of "extra-normal" which means having some type of "edge", whether it be high intelligence or high agressiveness which would likely correlate to lower intelligence, and etc for other characteristics. So evolutionarily, diversity of superior attributes, which often nescesarily lowers contradicting attributes, makes sense to be hightened in males, while normalization would be hightened or neutral in females.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:20AM (#13404853)
    No, EARLY IQ tests were notorious for being biased. This embarresed phsychometricians very much and they have worked very hard to design as cultural neutral a test as possible. Look up "Raven progressive matrices" for a good example of a modern non-verbal IQ test.
  • by pongo000 (97357) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:21AM (#13404857)
    I realize this is /. humor, but some might be interested in a 50-year longitudinal study called the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth [vanderbilt.edu] (SMPY), hosted currently by Vanderbilt U. It is the longest-term study of its kind, designed to track boys and girs through a 50-year period, and is now in its third decade. The study has spawned over 300 research articles, and is considered by many to be the best collection of data in existence concerning intelligence differences betweens males and females.

    Of course, I might be biased since I was a participant in one of the first cohorts, but it's certainly worth a look if you're interested in this kind of thing.
  • Re:Uh oh! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rynthetyn (618982) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:27AM (#13404883) Journal
    Whenever I read something like this comment, I'm reminded of when my parents dropped my older brother off at college for the first time. My mom was talking to another mother, both my brother and the other woman's daughter were in the honor's program, but the other mother told my mom "my daughter is smart, but I told her not to act too smart because guys won't want to go out with her if she's too smart."

    When society is telling women to downplay their intelligence and that being intelligent is ok up to a point but being more intelligent than an man is bad, is there any wonder that we end up with results like these?
  • Re:Oh boy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phat_Tony (661117) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:56AM (#13405016)
    This is an interesting bit I've heard before. I don't know which curve has a higher mean, but the standard deviation for IQ among men is much higher than it is among women- there is a higher percentage of both idiots and geniuses among men than among women. It also happens that men's distribution curves have a higher standard deviation when measuring a whole lot of things- height, weight, metabolism, visual acuity, and many other things. It seems most likely that having the XY chromosome set results in a wider variance of expression than the XX chromosome set even for traits whose expression is primarily controlled by other genes.

    It's easy to see why evolution would favor this outcome. Evolution favors any benefit that increases the probability of gene survival, which correlates with amount of reproduction. A woman who survives has a probability of attempting to reproduce (obtaining intercourse) of approximately 1. That is, nearly every woman who's capable of surviving is capable of getting a guy to have sex with her. Men, on the other hand, face a much more precarious situation. One highly successful male might copulate with many different women, while an unsuccessful male may never get the chance to reproduce at all.

    Game theory tells us that, (ceteris paribus) lower chances of obtaining a goal, as well as exponential gains in the case of success, are both formulas that favor using a higher risk strategy. Thus, a higher standard deviation. Evolution is set up to favor greater genetic risk taking in males than in females.

  • Re:Uh oh! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:59AM (#13405027)
    Your comment, and it's attendant rating, subcommunicates exactly the sort of mentality that keeps the average slashdotter from getting anywhere with the average girl.

    Wake up! Girls don't want to fuck the nice and respectful ones. The dimwits that think such behavior is getting them anywhere are quickly relegated to "friends" positions, and whine about how nice guys finish last. Girls like cocky and funny guys that call them out on their bullshit, challenge them, and push their buttons.

    If you're deluded into thinking otherwise, then I hope you're ready to enjoy a lifelong monogomous relationship with your palm.

    Of course it is possible to get lucky from time to time, after many years of playing the respectful, understanding, castrated male.

    How's that working out for you? Great! Keep it up then...
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday August 26, 2005 @03:00AM (#13405031) Homepage
    How many television shows have you seen depicting the man with lesser intelligence


    The telling detail is that all the shows you listed as examples are comedies. Their purpose is to get the audience to laugh, and one way they do this is by presenting a situation that is the opposite of what the audience would expect: in this case, instead of the male being the competent leader, it's the female who is smart and makes him look bad, to humorous effect.


    Try naming some "realistic drama" type shows where the female characters are the smarter/in-charge/competent characters. That would be more convincing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @03:04AM (#13405052)
    White people do score higher on IQ tests than black people. Just as men score slightly higher than women on the tests.

    The reasons for the difference are the only thing in debate, not the actual difference. Some argue that it's partly or mostly genetic, others argue environment (poor education, cultural differences, etc).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence [wikipedia.org]

    A good overview of 30 years worth of data and various journal articles is here: http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/ [udel.edu]

    Studies cited in the data show that differences in intelligence testing are present even before the child undergoes any education (age 3). Jensen's PDF shows that there seems to be at least some validity to the genetic theory of intelligence differences.

    IMO it seems strange to think that evolution and the virtual "speciation" (I forget the real term) that occurred over time for the various homo sapiens communities had purely physical effects. We can observe the changes in cranial capacities for the entire Homo line, and rightly observe as the amount of brain mass increases the amount of neurons and "intelligence" increases. Changes in diet and simple things such as being more succesful in an area could influence a population to grow larger brains over time, (the tradeoff between energy and all the calories for activity, or for powering all those brain-watts, which are expensive).

    So it seems reasonable to me that various mental characteristics could be influenced by human evolution in recent times... we know about genetic differences in races that cause resistance to Malaria, and Sickle-cell Anemia. White people are more likely to develop skin cancer, black people are more likely to be lactose intolerant.

    Why do we assume that the evolution that is responsible for those differences kept us all exactly the same on the inside? Because there is a new PC environment that simply taught us all "You're all the same on the inside"?

    Where is the evidence for that view? I certainly am not a racist in any way, but I wonder why we have to so forcefully grasp that idea that we are all the same, when evidence seems to contradict it more and more.

    (women are not as strong as men, as good at math, as good with finding their way through a maze, men are not as good at language and socializing, etc.)

    So I think an attack on someone who supports the idea that genetics may be partly responsible for the differences in IQ between the races is out of line. As that is what he is arguing, read the wikipedia URL and other link for more on the reasonable interpretation of the available data.
  • You can't be very good at it if you can't tell we can't read minds.

    On a more serious note, it's worth pointing out that it's been known for some time that men have a wider range of IQ at both ends of the scale. Although men may, on average, be slighly brighter than women, at the top end of the scale men outnumber women 5-1, but that's also true at the bottom end of the scale. More of the really stupid people are male too.
  • Re:Let me be the 1st (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quenda (644621) on Friday August 26, 2005 @03:54AM (#13405280)
    So in conclusion -- according to him -- blacks and women are dumb. Caucasian males is the way to go.

    No, he says no such thing. TFA refers to statistics. Differences in probablility and average. And the real significance is not in averages, but in the extremes.

    Why do people get so upset at hearing claims that most geniuses are men, but will happily accept that most criminals are men? Did you know that the large majority of intellectually diabled people are male? Does that claim shock you too?

    Secondly, "Caucasian males", as you put it, do not quite come out on top. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @04:06AM (#13405336)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2165715.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    The linked study found that children who were treated badly when they were young were more likely to display anti-social behaviors if they had certain genetic markers.

    It seems to me that it is reasonable to think that certain tendencies could be partly due to a person's genes. Like substance abuse seems to "cluster" in certain families, (although there are many explanations), certain mental illnesses are inheritable, etc. So couldn't also certain predispositions to certain types of behavior (like say you get a gene that is linked to a smaller impulse control part of the brain), be due to a person's genes?

    This doesn't mean that it's written in stone, you have a choice whether or not to be an alcoholic, but couldn't it be true that Native Americans are more likely to be vulnerable to addiction as well as having environmental factors that lead them down that path?

    Maybe the same is true for criminal behavior. For example there is the fascinating study on rape among certain species of ducks. Rape and the tendency to rape are rampant in the species as it allows for the male to more easily spread his genetic material and become successful. So the more "crime" the duck commits the more successful he is.

    Now how about for primates? A more aggressive primate who is greedy is more likely to be able to eat. Just as a more cunning monkey is more likely to be able to forage for food, a more aggressive monkey has an advantage. Now a certain amount of genetically inherited aggression and ability to socialize is needed, but what if you are more agressive and have a genetic predisposition to look out for yourself to a greater degree?

    Couldn't it be true that more "criminals" have certain genetic markers for agressive or anti-social traits?

    The argument from the heredity camp isn't that someone simply inherits criminality, it's that they have genes that are more commonly present in criminals, and genetics may have some clues to the data.

    So in the case of IQ tests and racial IQ differences the evidence is already there, it is not in dispute, simply the interpretation.
  • Re:why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RoLi (141856) on Friday August 26, 2005 @05:03AM (#13405576)
    Maybe it's because we've been treated as the lesser of two human beings for centuries.

    At least in the european societies, that just isn't true for at least 2000 years.

    If a ship sunk, who got to the lifeboats? "women and children first"

    During the centuries, women were treated differently as men - that's true - however they weren't ever treated as "a lesser human", quite to the contrary, a women's life was regarded to be worthy a lot more than the life of a man.

    Actually if you look at suicide rates, it seems that women were never as unhappy as today.

  • by n54 (807502) on Friday August 26, 2005 @05:40AM (#13405706) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps men tend to "go formalistic" and women tend to "just make-believe" but if so (and I don't believe it myself) then isn't that just a perfect example of "conveniently" removing a question rather than actually thinking about it?

    "because they (the women) are used to being easily able to pick up these subtle hints themselves at a subconscious level"

    Sorry but I find this to be 100% total bullshit (just like the "news"), nobody understands nobody else instinctively - they just think they do. It's just a matter of having enough similar assumptions in the lower level inner workings of the indivduals thought: people who have similar interpreations of similar experiences tend to "instinctively" understand each other although they of course do nothing of the sort; they simply jump to the same conclusions in the same manners (and usually when they find they were wrong in those assumptions and "instinct" they fool themselves into believing otherwise).

    This is exactly what happens in "male bonding" or any situation where you get to know a person close enough for long enough. Experience enough with said person and you will have enough "data" (common experiences) to "know" things (or at least think you do). Even with a very big amount of data (like living with someone for years and years) there will be the possibility of new "surprises" both because people change and because the generalisations one has based the interpretations on are just that: generalisations rather than constant reflection and dessication of though.

    It is also the reason why people have a hard time understanding those with contrary opinions and tend to behave like sheep. To avoid this not only does one have to identify every presumption and assumption one makes and convey this clearly to explain ones own reasoning, but in addition the majority of opposing opinions involved have to do the same and everybody has to be willing to do it this way. Language (speech, written, body, or otherwise implied) and other "cues" is a seriously imprecise method of communication when these things are simply glossed over (for examples read any media reporting on anything from any perspective or see the ususal Slashdot flamefests on anything (or at least anything remotely political)).

    The above does not neccessarily apply when people actually spend some time to actually think and reflect, but that is uncommon enough during public discourse in society as a whole to be valid in statistical generalisations (and such generalisations are usually worthless anyway - que the "news").

    One of the primary reasons why this "real communication" is so rare should be obvious: it's very timeconsuming and most people aren't that interested in "whatever" even if it concerns a husband, wife, family, or friends - they just want to feel "ok" and in an environment where they don't have to bother too much while still feeling "appreciated" and "understood".

    Anyway, when people don't "get" each other and are bewildered and confused they usually either get uncomfortable and shy away or blame it on whatever scapegoat is socially acceptable within their frame of reference i.e. "men are insensitive", "women are bitches", "Bush is Hitler", "commie liberals" or any other such mindless crap we all use intermittently.

    All the above applies to me as well of course - I'm not that different.

  • Re:Missunderstanding (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kaiidth (104315) on Friday August 26, 2005 @05:44AM (#13405718)
    In fact, I seem to recall reading that lack of emotion impairs decision-making, especially when making decisions that involve oneself. Here for example is a brief from some guys currently studying just that [uiowa.edu], or one could take a look at the work of Antonio Damasio.

    With this in mind, one would sincerely hope that both genders are equipped with a full set of emotions.
  • Re:Let me be the 1st (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Friday August 26, 2005 @07:09AM (#13406000) Homepage

    Wait wait wait, this is the university of Ulster. I don't know how many of you have any experience with the north of Ireland, but the northerners (or "noddies" as they are referred to) tend to be a sort of primitive atavistic throwback to a less evolved species. Now while I know that may sound like flamebait, what I am trying to underline here is that not all universities are created equal and take anything that comes from the north of Ireland with a LARGE pinch of salt (cf rev. Ian Paisley, female to male drop out rates for Queens University Belfast). Under no circumstances take anything these people say seriously.

    Oh and hey if my sweeping generalisations offend, you might want to ask yourself how long you have lived in Ireland, and then you might want to ask yourself why my generalisations offend (true thought they are) and the ones made by the UU crowd do not.

  • by Halthar (669785) on Friday August 26, 2005 @07:28AM (#13406076)
    Well, I am not really one for political correctness, so I figured I would respond. While I am not one to dismiss such claims out of hand, I do tend to end up dismissing them after having read the studys themselves, and I will tell you why.

    While the research may be sound, it ends up being essentially meaningless within modern society. The reason being that life within modern society tends to require far more types of intelligence than that measured by every IQ test I have ever taken, and I have taken quite a few. Every study I have seen tends to focus on a very narrow set of traits which we have decided are intelligence, however, that narrow set of traits really doesn't tell the whole story.

    For example, who is more intelligent, someone who has a great deal of practical street smarts, or someone who can learn every word in the dictionary in one sitting? Does the decision as to which party is more intelligent change dependant upon the situation that person is in? Who is more likely to survive in the midst of a gang war?

    What about emotional intelligence, is someone who is capable of memorizing a dictionary more likely to thrive within a romantic relationship? Not necessarily. While being able to learn vast quantities of information very quickly is of benefit in some situations, it doesn't mean that they are good at dealing with their emotions or that they are good at being able to empathize with another being.

    Basically, the problem I have with studies like this, is that they actually focus on a subset. Unfortunately, to ensure that the data is usable, this is what they should be doing. To the best of my knowledge there is no good metric for the measurement of other forms of intelligence, as they haven't been given much attention.

    I suppose it could be argued that the two forms of intelligence I mentioned are more akin to instinct, the former (street smarts) being survival instinct, and the later (emotional intelligence) being a subset of survival instinct (mating instinct). However, I tend to look at intelligence as the ability to process information, in the former case it's the processing of data regarding ones surroundings, in the later the ability to process data about bodily cues, vocal inflections, etc.

    While I am not prepared to discount the research simply because I hold some naive view that everyone is equal in every way (it's the differences between all of us that make life so interesting), I don't know how useful the research is, regardless of how well backed it is. Unfortunately, such research often gets used to try to prove some sort of point, in much the same way people try to warp a religious text to fit their ideology. Granted, that isn't the fault of the researcher.
  • Re:why the outrage? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by QuestorTapes (663783) on Friday August 26, 2005 @07:35AM (#13406110)
    Some interesting points, I just -had- to reply.

    > "The right to vote" is newspeak for "the 'right' to aggress against others" (namely, to openly
    > express and act upon one's desire to take that which they haven't earned).

    There is a certain truth to this. The right to vote comes with responsibilities: the responsibility to take the time to get to the polls; the responsibility to read the ballot carefully and research the candidates and issues; the responsibility to continue to work within the system even when your candidate/proposition fails.

    > Regarding discrimination in the workplace, no-one has the "right" to work at a specific company.

    And the law reflects this. But everyone has a right to apply and be fairly considered for employment in whatever field they choose. If and when the firms dominating a market collude, either explicitly or in a "gentlemen's agreement" to exclude people based on *specific characteristics noted in the law, in violation of statute, the people discriminated against have a right of legal action.

        *race, creed, national origin, gender. Hair style? Not actionable. Life style? Not actionable.

    > I'd argue, however, that there are alot of managers who would like nothing more than to have
    > all female employees.

    The biggest problem is a culture of fear. Fearful managers take perceived safe actions. In many companies, hiring more than a certain percentage of women, or blacks, or hispanics, etc. is considered a "risky, high-profile" move. If the company is growing, risky and high-profile can be good for managers. If the company is cycling through rounds of layoffs, risky and high-profile is professional suicide.

    The fact is that managers get credit for things they didn't do, and blame for things they didn't do. If the company does well due to some coincidence, risky, high-profile manager gets credit for the way his daring paid off. If the economy tanks, RHP manager gets blamed. Even if his actions reduced the inevitable losses.

    > As regards the glass-ceiling, he argues this is due to...

    I've always wondered if anyone has done any research on the other side of the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling idea is that those who hit the glass ceiling can get hired, but once they rise to a certain level, they hit a "glass ceiling". Management bars members of these groups from higher management positions.

    But does it start when they rise to that level, or does it happen at hiring time? White males who are aggressive, hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners go-getters get hired for those qualities, and are often promoted into high-ranking positions. I've often wondered if black men, women, etc. displaying the same characteristics are viewed as "confrontational", "angry", or "bitchy" and weeded out early. Perhaps the system doesn't prevent the high-energy executive types from crossing the finish line so much as keeping them from the starting line.

    No proof, just an idea I've mulled over.

    You had more interesting points, I just don't have comments on them.
  • by cluckshot (658931) on Friday August 26, 2005 @07:57AM (#13406223)

    In many cases the issue of intelligence differences is probably the best way to describe men vs women. Women are different than men. Their sensory perception and attention focus is as a group very different from men. Visual Acuity falls as a no contest for women. Attention to tedious jobs falls as a no contest for women. Mathematical and Logical Thinking falls to men each of these differences have pretty wide differences. These are well documented.

    As to the racial differences these too are unbelievably well documented. There are wide racial differences in intelligence and behavior. These include temper and acuity in understanding of various subjects. Contrary to the test bias claims these can be verified by some pretty basic tests that are done at birth and measure only function. Being and RN I have been trained in such evaluations. If you will note, I am treading lightly here because I am not telling who is who. The data has been there for a very long time that there are big differences. These are not some esoteric minor inflections. They range from edge perception detection of motion being present in nearly all persons of some races to not appearing in persons of other races until about age 1. These range from temper differences of response being quite passive to outright violent to the same stimuli. Yes the Irish are more tempermental than the English. (Hense the "Fighting Irish") Race you see is not just black and white.

    To be more specific, asians who are yellow or light brown skinned (generally because there are some exception races there) are the highest scoring on tests of visual acuity and moderate temper. They also score highest on mathematical skills. European whites range from this level in the north Germanic areas down to average in central europe and much below average in the balkins. (Hense the English word Moron, coming from people from the Albaina region -- Look up city names for fun folks) These of course are group averages. Black races have considerable ranges as well. I suppose I would be called a racist if I note their levels and so to prevent the Moderator Idiot curve from hitting me I will let readers guess here.

    Have fun people, there is a wide and quite well known set of variances in people by race and by sex. But to print it is to suffer unscientific assault and to be wiped out in Political Correctness. Mods... Get a Life and quit calling Troll the facts.

  • by localman (111171) on Friday August 26, 2005 @09:06AM (#13406649) Homepage
    Sure, this study will cause an uproar and people will tear it apart. But what if... it's true?

    How can I say that? How can I imply that any group could be tested to be superior to another in any way? All men (and women!) are created equal! There is nothing different about anyone! The world is fair and just!

    The above paragraph is the consensus, it seems, but it is also just a religion, and has no basis in reality. There are notable differences between different groups. Women have a better sense of smell and color than men. Men are physically stronger than women. Women are more emotionally engaged then men. Men might be (as this study suggests) more intelligent than women.

    I think one of the problems here is that people aren't good at distinguishing between individuals and groups (I think that weakness is to blame for most of the world's troubles, but I digress). Though I believe in my heart that an individual of any sex or race or creed can rise to be whatever they want, I am not afraid to admit that as a group they may be greater or lesser than another.

    To be clear with an example: "men" are physically stronger than "women". This is well established. But not all men are stronger than all women. I am an average strength man but there are many women who are stronger than me. Maybe even the strongest man is stronger than the strongest woman, but if we're talking about individuals we could say something as meaningless as the strongest person with type O blood is stronger than the strongest person with type B blood. Oh horror!

    It's the same thing with intelligence, I think. I am going to go out on a sexist limb and say that men are smarter than women. I am surely a sexist bastard now. But let me just say that the smartest person I happen to know is a woman. And I know many smart women who are smarter than most men. Still, if I was to average out the groups (an arguably useless excercise) I would say in my personal experience that it seems men are smarter than women.

    Though I haven't discussed this with my intelligent female friends, I think that they might agree -- as several of them have a hard time making female friends themselves because there is a lacking of intelligent females. At least, that is what they have implied.

    I think the same thing applies to race and creed and any other group division. You may find a tendancy in the group, but you will find plenty of individual exceptions. So I don't think these group tendancies are limiting or all that important. Everyone has a shot to be what they want to be, nature or nurture aside.

    Cheers.
  • Re:Mod parent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by harvardian (140312) on Friday August 26, 2005 @09:54AM (#13407075)
    What I feel strongly about is that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the genetic component of race (to the extent that it exists) affects IQ. I did give you several examples of evidence that supports this skepticism (nutrition accounts for brain size difference, a popular IQ test is biased in at least one question, etc.).

    Yes, you are right that there might be something to it. No amount of evidence would ever change that. But even in this post you seem to be leaning toward believing that evidence (correct me if I'm wrong here), and I do feel that that is irresponsible.

    And FWIW, I don't think I'm being ideological as much as I'm being a pompous ass. But Slashdot gets under my skin sometimes because people talk about very important topics and rarely go into any depth about them.
  • by Marcus Porcius Cato (905228) on Friday August 26, 2005 @10:17AM (#13407315)
    I agree with everything you said, but the question is: why do people react this way? There are very intelligent, very rational people that will do exactly what you described: dismiss anything like this out of hand. Why?

    The issue is people's worldview. The universe as a whole is too complex for the human mind. So we take bits and pieces of it and make a model in our head of how the world works -- our gut feel on how things are. Call it a philosophy, a perspective, a metacontext, whatever; it's all the same.

    The thing is, once we form a world view, we protect it. It's so fundamental to how we think, that we would question fact before questioning it. Because of this, it tends to act as a filter to data coming into our brains. Those facts that support our worldview get special attention. Those that do not -- or actually contridict it -- get explained away or ignored.

    This isn't really intellictual dishonesty because this usually happens before our intellectual mind gets ahold of the data. And it's not always bad. When our worldview -- our mental model -- is fairly accurate, it helps us simplify and speed up the process of reason. It's bad, though, when the world view contridicts important facts.

    So, some people have as a fundamental part of their worldview that white males have always been dominant because they have always been racist and sexist and violent and basically bad, but certainly not superior. In fact -- to them -- most prejudice has always been motivated by realization of inferiority to these other groups. If data comes out that, no, white males might actually have some superior qualities in certain areas then, to them, it cannot be correct. It contridicts their worldview. So, instead of questioning their fundamental beliefs about how the world works, they question the data.

    We all do the exact same thing all the time, in whatever area our own worldview comes into conflict with reality. Which is why true scientific objectivity is so difficult, if not impossible. You have to continually check your own biases before absorbing just about anything. It's very tough. Few people ever achieve it with any real consistency.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Friday August 26, 2005 @10:28AM (#13407412) Homepage Journal

    This is a holdover from the idea of the Great Chain of Being, which was a method by which scientists used to arrange everything on a scale, with snot and rocks at the bottom, then monkeys and black people, then finally white people, angels and God. Except the angels and God weren't around, so white people were in charge. 'Cause that's the way it was meant to be.

    Do you see why talking about intelligence is different from talking about sickle-cell anemia?


    Yes, but that's no reason to NOT talk about intelligence.
    The guy didn't say "wimmin ain't smart, they have no place in schools!", he said "hey look, I.Q. test show a sexual bias. I wonder what that's about..."

    I'm so, so sick of people being retarded about "touchy" subjects. Just because someone else in the past was dishonest about this research is no reason to assume that everyone who looks at the issue is also dishonest. It's not the 50's anymore, people, try to keep up!
  • Nature vs. nurture (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mblase (200735) on Friday August 26, 2005 @10:42AM (#13407560)
    Hypothetically, in our enlightened modern climate of equality and fairness, even if were proven beyond doubt that men are more intelligent than women, would we accept it or merely reject it out of hand?

    We would reject it, and quite sensibly, because this fact (like his conclusion that whites are more intelligent than blacks) tends to lead people to the illogical conclusion that intelligence is genetically determined.

    Intelligence is a funny thing; no one can prove exactly how much of it is tied to genes and how much of it is tied to upbringing. Assuming this data is true, would women be more intelligent than men if they were raised as completely equal to men? Anecdotal evidence suggests yes. After all, the "smartest human in the world" judging solely by IQ is a woman [marilynvossavant.com], not a man.

    So if men are more intelligent, this might only demonstrate that women aren't yet being treated as full equals by our parents and teachers. Same for non-whites. Yet when most people hear "men are smarter than women" or "whites are smarter than blacks", they hear a sexist or racist slur.

    And how could you expect them not to? No matter how often you add the phrase "statistically speaking", it SOUNDS like a stereotype. Even when you say "MOST men are smarter than MOST women," what people hear is "ALL men are smarter than ALL women."

    If I were to point out the simple and obvious fact that "Most of your schoolteachers were smarter than you", what it inevitably sounds like I'm saying is "You were a stupid student."

    Some things don't sound nice no matter how you say them. This is one of them. Saying that men are smarter than women, STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, is only a helpful fact if you IMMEDIATELY couple it to the statement "This shows that women aren't yet treated as equals in our schools."

    Because the statistical data does nothing to prove that women MUST REMAIN less intelligent than men. It can't. But since this is what must be inferred, it is better for the statement to remain unspoken.
  • Define your terms (Score:2, Interesting)

    by snowwrestler (896305) on Friday August 26, 2005 @10:59AM (#13407748)
    When you can conclusively and quantitatively define "race" and "intelligence", you might have something. Until then any extrapolation of statistical data to generalities is to a large extent a reflection of the biases and opinions of the person doing the extrapolating. Whether or not there is connection will depend in large part on how the terms are defined in the process.

    In addition any measurement using a standardized test needs to acknowledge that what it is primarily measuring is correlation to the test designer--not intelligence in the abstract.
  • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Friday August 26, 2005 @04:02PM (#13410511)
    "The thing is, once we form a world view, we protect it. It's so fundamental to how we think, that we would question fact before questioning it. Because of this, it tends to act as a filter to data coming into our brains. Those facts that support our worldview get special attention. Those that do not -- or actually contridict it -- get explained away or ignored."

    I agree, but I think the strength of the filtering effect varies between people, and that with a little introspection you can identify and control your own world-view.

    I agree that people instinctively latch onto certain ideas and never consciously think them through, I just don't think it's a good thing. I always try to make a point of seeking out ideas that contradict mine, just to see if they've got anything to offer I haven't already considered.

    I don't believe it's inability or dishonesty that prevents many people from doing it, just simple intellectual laziness.

    "We all do the exact same thing all the time, in whatever area our own worldview comes into conflict with reality. Which is why true scientific objectivity is so difficult, if not impossible. You have to continually check your own biases before absorbing just about anything. It's very tough. Few people ever achieve it with any real consistency"

    Granted, but as I said different people do it to wildly different degrees. I don't think it's impossible for anyone to be objective, if they try hard enough and don't sink into the trap of only thinking "comfortable" thoughts.
  • by starm_ (573321) on Friday August 26, 2005 @07:05PM (#13412107)
    "Sorry but I find this to be 100% total bullshit"

    I think it's actually true. There have been studies that show women perceive detais better. Evolution has made it so that they can detect cheating mates better.

    If you put cognitive concepts in a abstraction hierachy. Abstract concepts at the top of the tree and precise details at the bottom, it has been shown that women think more in terms of the concepts at the bottom of the tree and men think in term of the concepts at the top. Possibly explaining why women score lower on IQ which is biased towards the manipulation of abstract concepts. There are advantages and disadvantages in both method of thinking. Everything can be represented in different levels of abstraction. When you think using the more abstract representation you are able to see the big pictures and use logic and generalisations. You will however neglect much details. If you think using the more detailed concrete ideas, you will remember and use much more details and be able to detect subtleties better. There will however be too many concepts in your head at the same time to effeciently use logic and arithmetics on them,

    "The above does not neccessarily apply when people actually spend some time to actually think and reflect" I think it does apply to a high degree pretty much all the time. If you studied language you would see how much of an unprecise and ambiguous thing it is. Unless you speak in predicate logic and algebra, langage is more of an noisy art than a clear communication device.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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