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Captain Jack

Are men really smarter?

Posted on 2008.01.28 at 21:39
Current Music: Killer Queen, Queen
This article asserts that according to research there is no difference on average in intelligence between men and women.  However, men tend to think they're smarter and women tend to believe them and to underestimate their own intelligence.  Apparently this is so in cultures all over the world.  So, how did we get talked into this?
Here's the article. 


spacebee at 2008-01-29 05:36 (UTC) (Link)
I really must find an article I read in one of the science journals lying around our house which said that testosterone kills brain cells and that the effect is cumulative over time. There were some other interesting findings in the study, as well.
heartofoshun at 2008-01-29 07:50 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I wanna read that one!
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:01 (UTC) (Link)
Testosterone kills brain cells? That explains it. LOL. Actually, I quite like testosterone in the right proportions.
heartofoshun at 2008-01-29 07:53 (UTC) (Link)
I like to see the results of the same study, using only women over 40. I wonder if the results would be different?
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:02 (UTC) (Link)
Do you think the results would show more self-confidence? Hmmm. Maybe.
heartofoshun at 2008-02-03 00:19 (UTC) (Link)
I think they probably would.
(Deleted comment)
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:03 (UTC) (Link)
That's true, but it seems this one is ingrained somehow. I guess women's liberation still has a ways to go.
amalc at 2008-01-29 12:28 (UTC) (Link)
What a coincidence! I read that article this week and thought it was very interesting but it only proves what I have long thought myself. How did we get talking into this? Well, for thousands of years women have always been considered inferior beings in every culture. It's only in the last 50 years that that idea that women might be as intelligent and capable as men has gained precedence - and that's mainly in Western culture. In other parts of the world the opposite is still very much in vogue. And almost all religions are oppressive to women.
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:10 (UTC) (Link)
You're right. I think that's a good analysis of the situation. Humankind still has some evolving to do. But we have come a long way, baby (as the commercial says). All sorts of learned men (and women) for most of our history have opined that men were smarter than women. I remember that being said even when I was a kid. It's good to have studies supporting what we know intuitively to be true - that statistically there is no difference, overall. Now it did find some differences. Men tend to be better spatially and women verbally. So, if the test only measures spatial skills then men would perform better. Often, it's a matter of evaluating the test.
erfan_starled at 2008-02-03 09:29 (UTC) (Link)
I remember the utter silence after I insisted, which took some doing, that the three men of the household took a piece of furniture up some stairs. I had assessed it. They only did it, in the end, to prove me wrong. I told them how, and it went. All in the angles. The fuss they put up about not doing it. It's not whether you can do things. It's the reception you get. The effort it takes to win the right and to be heard when you get there.

This was longer. I got interested :|
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elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:11 (UTC) (Link)
That's because you're smart (and a woman). [tickles you]
Weeping Naiad
weepingnaiad at 2008-01-29 16:41 (UTC) (Link)
Interesting article. Makes me sad for our daughters, though. And, yet another thing that keeps so many brilliant women from achieving their potential. In my job I have noticed that it matters less how truly bright you are, but how good you are at selling yourself. Not something girls are taught -- they are not taught to highlight their true abilities, just their exterior ones.

But I have to keep hoping it is getting better.
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:14 (UTC) (Link)
Oh Wn, that's so true. I have seen people not particularly bright get ahead just on sheer self-confidence and brass. Not fair for the more cautious types. And girls are taught in a variety of subtle and not so subtle ways to downplay ourselves. A woman who is assertive is often called a bitch. A man is often called effective.

As a student of history, I know it is getting better. Truly.
nimaweh at 2008-01-30 05:09 (UTC) (Link)
Truly, even in our own Western world, women are still fighting to prove our equality. Sad to think that we're actually the lucky ones; we're far outnumbered by women who are utterly oppressed, all their lives.
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:17 (UTC) (Link)
Very true. I think it's part of the fear of Western culture in some societies. I mean I think there are negative things about Western culture that I can see other cultures not wanting to adopt, but I also think equality for a variety of previously oppressed groups, particularly women, is threatening.
erfan_starled at 2008-01-31 19:46 (UTC) (Link)
My opinion? Selection operated for getting on with people (survival trait) and hence for a greater tendency towards 'people-pleasing' and 'going along with'... :| Evolution is a wonderful thing, but is oh, so very blind.
elfscribe5 at 2008-02-03 00:25 (UTC) (Link)
Could be. I think there is something to that. I mean when one takes care of children and watches little boys and little girls, it's pretty clear that there are some inherent differences. It's hard to know how much is nature and how much nurture. However, humanity's strength is our adaptability and the plasticity of culture. I'm sure society will continue to evolve and change towards equality. After all, it's a notion that's only a couple hundred years old really in human history and a generally accepted idea of equality for women less than that.
erfan_starled at 2008-02-03 09:46 (UTC) (Link)
I have just deleted my answer to this. I am so glad a woman can actually write that last sentence. An article that interested me was one in which they did a study on the difference between the careers of intelligent girls born to clever men and not clever women, and intelligent girls born to clever both, or clever women and not clever men - though I think those pairings were rarer to find. The former had far lower prospects than where the mother was also clever.
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