IQ test: Women are now scoring higher than men

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IQ test: Women are now scoring higher than men
Fri, 07-20-2012 - 10:06am

IQ test: Women are now scoring higher in IQ tests than men, reports one of the world's foremost intelligence researchers.

Are people getting smarter? According to the latest research, women sure are.

New research by intelligence expert James Flynn shows that women in the West have pulled ahead of men in IQ testing.

While both genders’ IQ scores have improved over the last century, women’s scores have risen faster and have now surpassed those of men.

Historically, women lagged slightly behind men on IQ tests, but over the last century, according to Flynn, an increase in IQ scores has been seen around the world. This long-term generational increase, first noted in the 1980s, is known as the “Flynn Effect.”

Flynn, emeritus professor of psychology and philosophy at New Zealand’s University of Otago, attributes the rise to modern living.

“Over the last 100 years, everyone in the developing world has been gaining about three IQ points, but women have been gaining faster,” Flynn said in an interview with ABC News. “This is the result of modernity. In every country where women have an equal chance of modernity, women have caught men [in IQ testing].”

Flynn has not published his research yet; it will be released in a new book he is writing called, “Are We Getting Smarter?” His data came from samples of the Raven’s Progressive Matrices IQ test, which is commonly used for measuring intelligence. His subjects were between the ages 10 and 30.

Flynn says that the challenges of balancing a career and raising a family may be one reason for the increase. Or perhaps women may have always had the potential to score better on IQ tests, but are only now receiving adequate access to education.

Not only did Flynn find women to be more intelligent than men, but, according to his research, women are now also surpassing men academically. Female high school students who scored above a 100 on their IQ tests got As and Bs, while male students with the same IQ got Bs and Cs.

While it may seem that women now have the advantage intellectually – more women are now being accepted into universities than men, and women are now earning more master's degrees – Flynn cautioned that the genders simply have different sorts of intelligence.

“[Women are] surpassing them academically because of certain character traits,” Flynn told the Toronto Star

He said men tend to be better spatially, while women are better verbally, perhaps making women better adapted to formal education.

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Registered: 08-30-2002
Re: IQ test: Women are now scoring higher than men
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 1:37pm

Part of me wonders if this has more to do with biological differences between women and men, not necessarily "intelligence." One thing we deny in our culture is the young, warrior spirit that is inately present in a segemnt of men. Because our culture no longer needs these type of people, it doesen't mean they have biologically adapted. I know many young men simply aren't ready to jump into university life, right out of high school and not because they aren't "challenging themselves." They just challenge themselves in different ways. My husband barely finished high school out of sheer boredom with the way we teach children. But he was already working, he was learning how to blow glass and weld. He eventually learned all the skills to build a home up to UBC code. None of this with college classes. Now that he is in his 30's and settling down, he's taking college classes, but it would have been an epic fail before.

We also all know these tests can be written in ways that alter the direction of the results. Remember when African Americans were testing out at lower levels, in part because the questions being asked had a different meaning in different American cultures? It would be nice to be sure the test wasn't biased in any direction.

I know men who have the minds of engineers, in spite of never having attended college. They can look at something and see how it works. BUt they also have a restless nature that makes attending university difficult for them and because their minds are constantly problem solving they seem socially awkward and like they aren't paying attention.