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November 30, 2006
Writing about web page http://education.independent.co.uk/higher/article2024763.ece
Or women less intelligent than men.
According to a recent analysis of data at Manchester University conducted by Dr Paul Irwing:
All the research I’ve done points to a gender difference in general cognitive ability. There is a mean difference of about five IQ points. The further you go up the distribution the more and more skewed it becomes. There are twice as many men with an IQ of 120-plus as there are women, there are 30 times the number of men with an IQ of 170-plus as there are women.
The results of both studies were a shock to me. I find prejudice abhorrent. I’ve always taught sex differences from a left-wing point of view, that women are every bit as good as men. My findings don’t fit my view of the world at all. Girls often do better than boys at school. There has to be some female compensating factor, most importantly the ability to process speech sounds, which means women read faster and more accurately and have an advantage in basic writing tasks. And women work harder than men and are more conscientious so they do things technic-ally correctly. Men are often quite original but deficient in what is technically demanded.
People should have equal opportunities but if you want a society where everyone feels satisfied you’re not going to find men and women doing the same things in the same proportions. It would help if we recognised that.
Jokey titles aside, some of the observations made by Dr. Irwing on the results of his research seem to appeal very much to common sense. Males and females have intellectual differences. He points towards compensating factors in females which could account to why women do better in parts of the education system but the gist of it is that in terms of IQ, there are more intelligent men than intelligent women.
It’ll be interesting to see any follow-up research or debunkings of this.