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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 achew22 (783804) * on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:07AM (#13404033) Homepage
    Well, I'm going to be one of the 1st to say that I've known this for a long time

    *SMACK*

    Girlfriend: "Get back in line you stupid male."

    Me: "Yes ma'am"
    • by macdaddy357 (582412) <macdaddy357@hotmail.com> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:20AM (#13404148)
      Bitches be stupid? We don't need no mofukkin' scientist to tell us dat shizzle!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Of course men are smarter. We as women have been taught all our lives that this: |---------| is 7 inches.

      Of course our intelligence would be skewed.
  • by MrP- (45616) <rob.elitemrp@net> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:08AM (#13404035) Homepage
    ...Let me use a not so smart term to describe my reaction:

    Duh!

    (I'm sorry ladies, but you probably wont understand anyway.)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:22AM (#13404168)
      gag one:

      I, for one, welcome our new male overlords.... wait..."new"?

      gag two:

      If only there were some sexy chicks to say say gag one without the last bit, but I am afraid the situations a lot more grim that that. For one, no women will say that. And two, even if they did, it wouldn't be to anyone on slashdot.

      gag three:

      You know how there is a "womyn's room" in every uni? The idea being it's women without the "men". I want you to set up a "myn's" club in your local uni - our catchphrase will be "putting the myn back in womyn". Spread the meme.

      </male crypto-fascist patriarchal bigotry>
      </all that is funny and amusing>

      wait... second closing tag is redundant.

      try teh veal!!1
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:08AM (#13404041)
    Every woman on earth believes that men should be able to read minds. Every man knows this is impossible. Ergo, we are more intelligent.

    Now if we could just find a way to explain this to the ladies, there'd be much less unhappiness in this world.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:18AM (#13404116)
      Oh, you mean you really *can't* read minds? Silly men. I guess we gals just take that ability for granted.
      • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:28AM (#13404890) Homepage
        Oh, you mean you really *can't* read minds? Silly men. I guess we gals just take that ability for granted


        At the risk of ruining the joke... there is something to this. Not the ability to literally read minds, but the ability to detect and interpret the subtle non-verbal cues people display that can provide information regarding their mental and emotional state -- for example, a repositioning of the posture of the shoulders, or a slight change in breathing pattern, a miniscule change in facial coloring, or even possibly a change in pheromone composition. I suspect that when women get frustrated with men for "just not knowing" things, it is because they (the women) are used to being easily able to pick up these subtle hints themselves at a subconscious level, and therefore they take having that skill for granted and expect that everyone should be able to do it.


        Many men, on the other hand, prefer explicit/formal communication and either dismiss these non-verbal cues as unimportant, or (just as likely) are unable to reliably detect them at all. This is especially the case among the borderline-Aspberger's-Syndrome types that like to frequent Slashdot (you all know who you are ;^)), but I suspect it holds true on average for the gender as a whole.

        • 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.

        • by mdarksbane (587589) on Friday August 26, 2005 @07:04AM (#13405985)
          And yet, despite this, it's been my experience that women in general are TERRIBLE at reading men's minds. If a man hasn't said something directly to them, they tend to be at least as clueless as men are supposed to be.

          Now, this is all anecdotal, but it has been my experience. I would expect that it's the simple fact that most men and women expect the opposite sex to think the same way they do... which they kindof sortof do, but with generally different low-level priorities and therefore different results.

          How often do you hear women talking about how their man won't share his feelings? I bet every one of his guy friends understands how he feels without him having to explain it in detail.
      • 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.
    • by bigman2003 (671309) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:20AM (#13404136) Homepage
      But I think that women are far more cunning.

      Of the married people I know, about 95% of the women are 'in charge.' Maybe the guys walk around and think they are running the show, but when it comes down to it, it is typically the woman.

      It's probably a good thing too...I would do far more stupid stuff if my wife wasn't there to tell me what a stupid idea it was.

      On the other hand, I would have a lot more fun...

      It's like your mom telling you to wear a sweater. It's not fun, but you'll be a lot more comfortable if you listen.
    • by sillybilly (668960) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:47AM (#13404710)
      Intelligence? Intelligent at what? An apache helicopter is pretty intelligent at dishing out bullets. Women are intelligent at reading minds. I think women are a lot more intelligent at social interactions, which are pretty complex tasks - computers suck at social interactions. Women also excel at spreading their attention, because, historically, they always had to keep an eye on a child, while doing everything else. Men excel at concentrating on single item tasks such as hunting and focusing on prey and nothing else for hours. Men also have the ability to gang, to undertake large-scope grand-scale single item task such as building something big or going to war, and these gangs function more by rule or code, than by fine and subtle sensing of each other's needs. Somebody says that we only use 10% of our brain capacity - I think it's more like 101% - and you can only get so much complexity out of a brain - those who have a very "high IQ" when it comes to science, technology, codes, rules, law, and abstract conceptual operations often find it very difficult to handle the simplest social interactions. The single item concentration plus spatial awareness means men might be on average better for science and technology, but still men can be real dummies at social things. Duh. You know, computers and automated machines will probably replace men at their single item roles first, because math/spatial/single item concentration things are easier to target and automate, and computers are tireless at concentrating their attention. Men and women fulfill slightly different roles in humanity, if for nothing else, one gets to be pregnant, and breastfeed. There are interesting studies about women in jails - they form little families, and they constantly nest - they invent all kinds of little devices to decorate and make their environment functional, transform it into a "home." You know how you tell if a guy is not married? Go visit his apartment. Men in prison, on the other hand, they just gang up. Women in prison don't gang. When it comes to adapting to prison life, I'd say women are more intelligent. Still, you have to watch these kinds or any kinds of of generalizations, because, did you know, that perhaps the smartest science "man" that ever lived was actually a woman? Equal opportunity given to everyone to flourish at what they love doing is the key, and just because averages say something, that doesn't mean anything. Even if a study says concludes something as arrogant as 99.999% women are dumber than 99.999% men, you never know which next female will be the one to outdo Newton, or which male will be the next "social genius" or "priest." I've seen all kinds of people, both social genius men, and excellent science genius women. You always have to keep an open mind when it comes to individuals, even if being aware of the group-statistics, so basically, group statistics go out the door when dealing with an individual at say a job interview, still, we don't need to hunt for something 'fishy' if only say 30% of certain 'male' jobs are filled by women, when their population distribution is 50/50%. Equal opportunity is the key, and letting everyone excel at what they are best at. If someone is a musician and not a phd physicist, that's at least as important a function - what's life worth without good music?
  • Uh oh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mister_llah (891540) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:08AM (#13404042) Homepage Journal
    In other news:
    Richard Lynn, the emeritus professor of psychology at Ulster University, will never get laid again.
    • Re:Uh oh! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arbitraryaardvark (845916) <gtbear&gmail,com> 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:Uh oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Seumas (6865) * on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:07AM (#13404477)
        This whole idea is rather obvious and simple.

        Look, men are groomed from childhood to be smart, be athletic, make money, get a hot girlfriend or wife and work for a living their entire life.

        Women are groomed to be cute, pretty and attract a rich, athletic, successful, smart man.

        Women have as much potential as men. It's just a matter of where we, as a society, influence them to go. Girls are never praised for being so smart, but you're praised for being so cute and adorable the day you're born, then hot and sexy the rest of your life after some teen-ish age.
    • Re:Uh oh! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Digital Pizza (855175) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:22AM (#13404170)
      As they say: "Treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen"; therefore this guy probably gets laid all the time (although he did make the mistake of apologizing.)

      (Will this post survive the political-correctness police? Lets watch...)

  • Oh boy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiNKz (257629) * on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:08AM (#13404043) Homepage Journal
    ...I can only imagine how many women are going to protest this. On the same key, if there was a report that said women are smarter then men, most likely we would just accept it, or ignore it, and continue to put together the desk without directions.

    Double Standards.
  • Battle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by desplesda (742182) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:09AM (#13404047) Homepage
    Why exactly do we have to battle at all? What's the reason to have any sort of contest over which 'side' is 'better' than the other? It just seems like a waste of energy to try and 'prove' that one sex is in any way superior to another. We are who we are, and most of our achievements aren't due to how our brains and bodies are wired at birth, it's what we do with our brains and bodies.
  • uh oh (Score:3, Funny)

    by slashdotnickname (882178) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:09AM (#13404051)
    here come a bunch of overrated "+5 funny" jokes to prove the study wrong
  • The good professor (Score:5, Informative)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:10AM (#13404055) Homepage Journal
    It seems he's not a stranger to controversy:

    The professor has caused outrage in the past with claims that white people are more intelligent than blacks and that criminal traits are genetically inherited.

    • My first thought (Score:5, Interesting)

      by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> 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.....
  • Reports? (Score:5, Funny)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:11AM (#13404060) Homepage
    As the research is not yet published there's nothing more to go on than the press reports

    But, by god, we aren't going to let that stop us, are we?!
  • by Blahbooboo3 (874492) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:12AM (#13404066)
    Phew, some male researches are not getting "any" from their wives or significant-others for the next week! :)
  • 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 Alaren (682568) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:27AM (#13404207)

      Agreed. Short version: don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

      Long version: I just about choked when I read the submitter's parting shot at IQ testing.

      IQ testing is controversial. It is a test of normalization; "100" is always "average" because the scale is consistently normalized against the population. Higher-than-average IQ is one of the best predictors of a great many things--that's scientifically demonstrable. Many of those things are viewed as positive--again, this would be expected from a test based around checking averages.

      Where people go wrong is when they notice trends in race (IIRC, blacks average one standard deviation lower than whites; asians average something like three points higher than whites) or gender (which was the subject of this study apparently). The trends themselves are hard to dispute, because the test is the same for everyone. But of course we all want to know why the trends pan out. We ask: Was the test biased to whites? Did the minorities come from low-income backgrounds? Is there some genetic link between intelligence and race or gender? Ad infinitum...

      Of course everyone can see why these studies are considered offensive or inappropriate or just plain wrong. But the studies themselves are about the "why" and the "how"--and often these studies are inquiries so heavy-burdened with emotionally charged issues that even if they're handled properly, the findings will probably do more harm than good.

      All of that said, this is a far cry from saying that IQ tests don't tell us "anything at all!" Like it or hate it, IQ tests are reasonably good predictors of one's potential precisely because they are normalized to function in precisely that way.

      • Taking your statements for granted, all you have shown is that there is a correlation between IQ score and some success metric. It doesn't demonstrate causality (esp. for a given individual) and doesn't justify a physical link between IQ and potential.

        All it says is people with high IQs do better by some chosen metric(s), in general, than people with low IQs - by design. The test itself may have value in that somehow it is measuring existing thought process. I cannot see how it measures potential (unless it
  • by jlarocco (851450) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:15AM (#13404090) Homepage

    I hate how people get all pissed off and offended by "controversial" studies like this. If the study was done correctly, then there's really nothing you can do except shutup and live with it or do your own study that proves it wrong.

    If the study was done correctly, then getting offended by the results is like getting offended when somebody says "The sky is blue." You just look like an idiot, no matter what gender you are.

  • I am a MAN. (Score:4, Funny)

    by DroopyStonx (683090) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:16AM (#13404098)
    I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn.

    That's what kind of man I am.

    You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us.

    It's science.

    (Obligatory Ron Burgundy)
  • Even If True (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:16AM (#13404099)
    Even if true, it would still be a generality. It doesn't mean that you are smarter than whoever is in the car beside you at the stop light.
  • by i41Overlord (829913) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:17AM (#13404109)
    PC crusaders won't let a little facts get in the way of their blindly emotional outpourings.

    Even if a study proved beyond a shadow of a doubt something which is not "PC", you'd have people disagreeing with it simply out of emotion.

    It's doubtful that this study proves anything, but it won't stop people from making knee-jerk reactions to it.
  • by adolfojp (730818) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:17AM (#13404113)
    Mi niece told me the other day that she would rather be beautifull than intelligent.
    Society tells women to be stupid and popular and then asks itself why women, on average, seem less inteligent than men.
    • by CyricZ (887944) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:42AM (#13404313)
      If your niece is still fairly young, tell her to turn off her TV. Throw out her Hollywood-preaching magazines. Tell her to grab a physics book, the works of Plato, or some other intellectual material for her to read and contemplate. Get her involved in sports. Teach her about camping and farming. Please, help your niece before it's too late.

      • THANK YOU! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday August 26, 2005 @11:11AM (#13407845) Homepage Journal
        Please, help your niece before it's too late.

        Funny? Insightful! I wish your message would catch on universally - and for boys, too.

        I just sent my little girl to kindergarten for the first time last week. I sat her down and had a heart-to-heart talk about what school would be like. I told her about how fun it's going to be to get better at reading, and learning math, and seeing the world of science, and I could see her eyes light up at the idea of the wonders in front of her.

        I also told her that some people would tell her that girls can't learn or do as much as boys. I told her that those people are stupid and scared, and most importantly, wrong. She's lucky in that she has an automatic counterproof: my wife's a doctor, and graduated from Army Airborne school while in ROTC. My daughters and son know what women can do because their mommy showed them.

        I also want the other little girls (and boys) to know that while there are differences between all of us, each individual can rise to the level they want. People who would tell them otherwise are murderers, as far as I'm concerned.

  • Penises. (Score:3, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) * <mark@nOspam.seventhcycle.net> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:18AM (#13404117) Homepage
    Of course men are more intelligent! We have TWO brains!
  • 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."

  • by jhines0042 (184217) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:21AM (#13404154) Journal
    My question is this... who wrote the tests?

    I would be willing to bet that if a woman were to come up with an IQ test that women would do better at it than men.

    Being smart doesn't make you better at anything other than being smart. If you can add two 8 digit numbers in your head then great. If you can lift a car over your head, good for you. If you can stomach the sight of blood enough to become a doctor, guess what... good for you.

    Women, men, children, black, white, grey, whatever.... who you are is not defined by what you can do better than others. Nobody is the best at everything. Some people throw great parties or know how to make others laugh and feel better about themselves. If that is their greatest skill then so be it. Everyone should be happy with themselves or at least be given sufficient opportunity to be happy with themselves.

    If your only way to be happy about yourself is to be better at something than others, find a new hobby.

  • Old Psych Joke (Score:4, Informative)

    by SandSpider (60727) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:23AM (#13404177) Homepage Journal
    Q: "What is intelligence?"

    A: "Intelligence is what IQ Tests Measure."
    (Yeah, I know it's not actually funny)

    Basically, the psychologists make this construct they term intelligence quotient, and they try to make a test that will measure the construct. If they can get reliability across a number of tests, plus a few more things, then you have a number that you can attribute to "Intelligence," which is really handy if you want to make a test that determines if men or women have more of this "Intelligence".

    That's pretty much it. Oh, okay, that's not all, but in effect, you see if anything else correlates with Intelligence, and if so, then you'll be relatively safe in betting that, whatever positively correlates with it, means that other correlations will similarly relate. So if people who are more intelligent are more likely to get a particular neurodegenerative disease, and men have more intelligence than women, then chances are, more men will have this disease than women.

    However, presuming that Intelligence means anything other than what it correlates with in tests is foolish. It's not necessarily a predictor of success, it's not necessarily a predictor of the ability to solve problems other than the ones covered in the IQ tests, and it's not necessarily a predictor that you're a better person. It just means that you have a higher amount of the traits covered by this particular construct.

    =Brian
  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:25AM (#13404188)
    and compare the womens and the mens ads.

    Do I need say any more?

    Ok you insisted, in two words:

    'dick pics'

    At least a guy has two heads to think with. Trouble is its usually the smaller of the two that prevails.
  • Intresting replies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nyri (132206) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:39AM (#13404295)
    What I find intresting is the replies from the "men of the street" shown in the BBC's article.

    One women was openly offended. Almost all of then seemed to be offended. Not a single women accepted the study.

    Some men belived the study and were delited about its results. Most of the men didn't belive the study.

    Some replies didn't belive the study because of their "personal experience". Few women belive in
    somekind of conspiracy. One male doesn't seem to belive it science. Also few men point out the fact that men tend to have higher variance in IQ tests. They seem to suspect that the results were in fact measuring this.

    Not a single person considered to read the study before commenting on it. Not even Maria from Sheffield who was "suprised that a academic journal is even considering this publication".

    I think that this Maria is not alone and we hear lots of similar comments. And they are listened. Welcome to an age where academic journals screen articles based on the results not the methodology.
  • by shadowmatter (734276) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:42AM (#13404309)
    When my mom asks what I did today at work, and I say that I developed some mixin classes in Java because it does not support multiple inheritance unlike other object oriented frameworks and used generics because I want my compiler to catch some casting errors at compile-time rather than run-time because the application runs in a networked environment lossy at the transport layer and where distributed debugging is hard although Apache log4j helps and it's the best I can do because my boss wouldn't allow me to use Python which is dynamically typed and shares the same garbage collection facilities as Java which I think is of the generational variety although I haven't disassembled to find out and has wonderful functional programming elemets built in like anonymous methods and the Mersenne Twister random number generator built right-in that has a 623-dimensionally equidistributed uniform distribution... She starts complaining about headaches and how she doesn't get it.

    Then I ask my dad if he wants more elaboration, but he just shakes his head and turns away, because he OBVIOUSLY gets it.

    QED!

    - shadowmatter
  • by Lulu of the Lotus-Ea (3441) <mertz@gnosis.cx> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:42AM (#13404316) Homepage
    Apparently IQ is of no use in finding the actual meaning of "begs the question"!

    God do I hate that misuse.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beg_the_question [wikipedia.org]:

    "Begging the question is the term for a type of fallacy occuring in deductive reasoning in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises"
  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:45AM (#13404333)
    I thought about why measuring intelligence is so taboo. It seems that it's one of the few things that scientists are not allowed to study, not because it violates the law, but because it's simply taboo. It seems that as soon as we are able to devise methods of measuring intelligence, such measurements also became taboo or at best are viewed as curiosities flaunted by the arrogant.

    Perhaps that's because correlating these measurements with any kind of social categorization, whether it be race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, eye color, etc ignites a socially unacceptable controversy. If these correlations are taken seriously, it often leads to attempts at eugenics and strengthens discrimination against the group that is deemed "less intelligent". These correlations are not false in that they violate generally accepted statistical practices, it's just that we feel that we're better off not knowing and entertaining the illusion that all are roughly equal.

    If our modern atheist society has a religion which facilitates social cohesion than this is probably part of it: That we're all of equal ability and if we just work at it anyone has the same chance of acheiving a goal as anyone else. Intelligence correlations contradict this idea directly and are therefore considered heresy and hence are taboo.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:47AM (#13404360) Homepage Journal
    When I got married, I told my wife

    "OK, from now on, I'll make all the hard decisions, and you'll just make all the easy decisions."

    Since then, we haven't had a single hard decision to make yet.
  • Yes and no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:52AM (#13404390) Homepage Journal
    Are men on the average physically stronger than women? Of course, no (sane) person would argue that this is sexist to say. Can men have babies? No. Clearly there are physical difference between the sexes. So why should it surprise anyone that our brains are wired differently as well?

    That said, 'intelligence' is extremely tricky to define, composed of dozens of different dimensions. It's possible that women do better at certain areas than men, and vice versa.

    This also is an average. It doesn't mean that every woman is inferior to every man, as some people will assume this means.

  • Yeah, whatever... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Goonie (8651) * <robert@merkel.benambra@org> on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:01AM (#13404446) Homepage
    This is the same guy who published a book [wikipedia.org] which claimed that differences in GDP were explainable in terms of the differences in mean IQ between countries, using data that claimed that the average IQ in Equatorial Guinea was 59.

    While I'm sure the average Equatorial Guinean is poorly educated and might well have received insufficient iodine as a child, that figure is so insanely low (more than 2.7 standard deviations below the global mean of 100) as to fail the laugh test.

  • 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.
    • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Friday August 26, 2005 @03:34AM (#13405195) Journal
      For all the passion and prose of your post, it seems to me you are
      • taking the research to be directed at each woman individually
      • suggesting the research and researchers are biased
      • behaving as though the difference was much greater than it actually is
      • assuming that women are only the victims and never the perpetrators
      This scientific study shows there is a difference between the average man and average woman. It says nothing of any two given individuals.

      A difference of 5 points is small. It is so small that I have no doubts that one's messured IQ would vary by more than that from day to day. Which leads me to ask why there is no margin of error included in the numbers. I would be most interested to see how they arrived at their numbers.

      But, I would not say that the researcher or research is biased. With the current state of science, I would not be surprised to find that the methodology was suspect or that the outcome incorrect due solely to poor work.

      You state:

      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.
      Interestingly, you totally ignore the following
      • In the media, men are portrayed as:
        1. Incompetent, sloppy, conivings, lazy oafs, especially in "comedies" where they are paired with smart, capable, attractive women.
        2. Ugly, mean, vicious criminals.
        3. Poor, abusive, uncaring failures.
        4. Rich, handsome, successfuly business men
        5. Rich, powerful, ugly men with trophy wives
      • A good portion of the greeting card industry thrives on portaying men in the worst terms. Try a little experiment: Go to a card shop and pick out some of the "humorous" ones involving men and women and reverse the sexes and ask yourself "Would this card be sold like that?"
      • In many instances, if a man is accused of a crime, especially a sex crime, the man is automatically considered, and treated, as guilty. In a He said/She said situation, what She said is considered truth. Also, as we have seen recently in my home state of Florida, if a woman has sex with a young teen she is considered "sick" and in need of help, not inprisonment. If a man were to do the same, there would be calls for life sentences, castration, and execution. She is "mentally ill and in need of care" and he is a monster deserving of the worst punishments imaginable.
      • Many women's groups lie. My favorite is the statement that spouse abuse complaints and emergency room visits jump drastically on Superbowl Sunday in the US. This has been proven false. It was made up on the spot during a press conference.
      • Women are just as shallow as men, but do not own up to it. And, often they are even more mercenary.
      Perhaps you are just blind to anything that does not directly effect you.
  • why the outrage? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dh003i (203189) <dh003i@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:32AM (#13404623) Homepage Journal
    Regarding the argument of some that it is reasonable for women to be hostile to this, due to past injustices...Past injustices don't justify a paranoid, unintellectual reaction to studies. Either this is true, or it isn't.

    I'd also note that many of the things you describe as "rights", aren't or shouldn't be. "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). Regarding discrimination in the workplace, no-one has the "right" to work at a specific company. I'd argue, however, that there are alot of managers who would like nothing more than to have all female employees. Furthermore, to the extent that women are discriminated against* in the workplace, this creates a profit opportunity for entrepreneurs willing to hire them at lower wages.

    On a related argument, a professor of mine gave a very interesting lecture, for which I have notes [mises.org], discussing the wage-gap between men and women and the glass ceiling. He argues that the "wage gap" (women receiving 70% the pay of men) is really nothing more than the result of the fact that women (not men) get pregnant, and tend to thus take time off and stay at home to be parents. When you look at never-married men vs. never-married women, and teenaged boys vs. teenaged girls, there is no statistically significant wage-gap.

    As regards the glass-ceiling, he argues this is due to a difference in the dispersions of IQ among men and women. He argues that although the average IQ of men and women may be the same, the distribution for women is more concentrated on the mean, while the distribution for men is less concentrated on the mean (fatter tails). That is, there are fewer very dumb or very smart women, and more very dumb or very smart men. Likewise with regards to other social characteristics, such as aggression. If you look at the highest peaks of many areas -- chess, business, science, etc -- they are dominated by men; however, you also see prisons and insane-asylums overwhelmingly occupied by men.

    The reason for this is that men are expendable, and women are not. If 99% of the female population dies out, the human race is in severe trouble; if 99% of the male population dies out, the remaining 1% (provided adequate fecundity and stamina) can relatively quickly repopulate.

    Interestingly, someone else brought up the issue of "emotional quotient" or "EQ". From their description of it, it seems to measure maturity, the ability to sacrafice immediate gratification for more long-term gratification. As emotional intelligence is "an awareness of and ability to manage emotions and create motivation", this would seem to be an appropriate characterization of part of the issue. Economists -- particularly those of the Austrian school -- call this "time-preference". Lower time-preferences are civilizing forces, and lead to success. Criminals and children, for example, are characterized by high time-preference (a rapist is someone who simply can't wait; children will give up $1000 tomorrow for $1 today; etc). I don't see why this doesn't fall under the rubric of general "intelligence".

    * The term "discriminate" here is used in the very narrow sense, in that being female is considered as a negative aspect, all else equal. In reality, all private property, and every choice of free people, is based on discrimination.
  • hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bgog (564818) * on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:33AM (#13404634) Journal
    So, if they can charge men more for car insurance because statistically they are worse drivers then can employers pay women less because statistically they are less intellegent?

    NOTE: I'm ripping on the car insurance, not advocating paying women less. It's all foolishness.
  • Erm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by torstenvl (769732) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:34AM (#13404640)
    Without having read the article, this does sound quite a bit like earlier findings that men have more grey matter and women more 'white' matter. That is, men are better at pure processing and women are better at making connections between things. This is consistent with conventional wisdom (like "Men navigate by names and numbers, women navigate by landmarks"), and is hardly what I would call controversial. In addition, saying that women 'use' their grey matter more effectively by making connections better doesn't imply that increases in grey matter are useless; your implied assertion that IQ is 'useless' it unfounded. There are many areas (mathematics, science) where focussed processing power (if you'll allow the analogy) is exceedingly useful.

    Depending on my mood, I find it annoying or amusing that people would be up in arms for saying that men are more intelligent, but nobody thinks twice when someone says that women are more intuitive. If these recent studies and conventional wisdom are to be believed, then both statements are equally correct.
  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:35AM (#13404645) Homepage
    Men
    - men orgasm before sex is complete (woman need to do it before the man... or no chance).
    - men make women cook... woman just do it
    - men encourage woman to shave sensitive areas... we refuse.

    Woman
    - hold men hostage by their penis
    - can be a bitch a few days a month, and blame it on biologicial processes (and blame men somehow)
    - scream for equal rights... except when the draft comes around... then "gender roles are essential in society".
    - can orgasm in the shower without getting a cramp from stroking (damn waterpik's).
  • by multiplexo (27356) * on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:40AM (#13404677) Journal
    It's a superior cognitive stimulant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:43AM (#13404696)
    The real point is what if they reported that women were found to be more intellegent? Would there be the same hesitation to report the findings? I've heard other reports that claimed women were superior with some subjects and those were thought to be reporting accurately but when the opposite is found to be true it's a vicious lie. Have we hit the point that the facts must fit into political correct position? I guess the answer is obvious but the real victim in the end may be science and the truth. What if you take it to the next level and said it's wrong to report that some races and sexes were more prone to some deseases? We're close to that and I've heard complaints about those findings as being potentially racist. Burying those facts could cost lives all in the name of sparing some one's feelings.
  • 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.
  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:36AM (#13404932)
    "Let battle commence!"

    Oh yeah, Slashdot's a fair place to have this argument. Men outnumber women about 100:1 around here.

    As if the argument wasn't already skewed enough, it's completely unfair since we're smarter than them.

  • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Friday August 26, 2005 @08:24AM (#13406365) Homepage
    From the summary:

    This simply begs the question of what use IQ tests are if they don't predict anything in the real world.

    No, it doesn't. That's not what begging the question means. Perhaps it raises that question. Begging the question is assuming the wanted conclusion.

    So, for instance, if the professor said, "IQ tests measure immutable intelligence. Women do less well on IQ tests. Therefore, women are less intelligent," when it's not precisely known if there is a single thing measurable as intelligence (as opposed to a number of factors which tend to correlate, but don't lend themselves to organizing humans on a Great Chain of Being, white boys up near the top and black folks down near the bottom.)

    Remember, Steven Jay Gould said that there are four factors that are necessary for this interpretation of intelligence: it must be reliably measurable. It must be a single linearly-rankable quality. It must be heritable (well, for the race-based portion of this trope). And it must be immutable. Drop any of those four (three for the sex-based portion) and the whole argument collapses.

    All that his data shows is a correlation between sex (or, elsewhere, race) and what is measured by IQ tests. (Did You Know that the Alfred Binet, inventor of IQ tests, was strongly opposed to any interpretation of IQ as a real thing instead of just an average, or of its being considered immutable? Yeah, he's been doing a slow rotisserie in his grave since Yerkes and Goddard brought his work to America.)

    Remember, folks, correlation ain't causation. Very basic stuff, here. And yet so persistent.

    --grendel drago
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Friday August 26, 2005 @11:06AM (#13407798) Homepage Journal
    From the same guy [fair.org]: What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the 'phasing out' of such peoples.... Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality. ... Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contributions to civilization? Slashdot posting stories from leading racists? Awsome.

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.

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