I agree with you whole-heartedly Shau Ri. I think instictual and societal influence have a lot to do with the seeming intelligence differences between the two sexes. Ambition it seems, has always been a strong product of instinct in men. Since men have generally been the providers since prehistoric times, those who were more ambitious were more likely to be able to provide for a family, and therefore had better chances of reproduction. Therefore, because men have more ambition as a general rule, they are percieved as being more productive, or having greater potential intelligence, when that isn't necessarily true at all.
From my own experiences, men have always seemed to have better technical ability. When I look at history, and note the inventions and achievments of men and women, those of men are far greater. I don't think this has anything to do with intelligence. Unfortunatly in many societies women have been oppressed, made to seem inferior by men. This has limitted their ability to realize potential.
Not to mention, there are many different types of intelligence it would seem. Men simply are stonger in areas that tend to show throw more.
Women seem particularly good in social and memory related intelligence. Men generally seem better in logic and calculation, things involving "how stuff works".
However, that seeming greater ability with calculation isn't necessarily true. Men in my experiences, are generally just a lot more curious than women. They are more interested in many technical fields that require calculatory intelligence, and therefore pursue those fields. Women seem to be more interested in fields like literature and psychology, which seems to relate to their more social nature. Yet still, most times when I've seen women actually care about "technical stuff", they perform just as well as men, and many times, better.
*NOTE: Possible Rumor*
Recently I heard that science had revealed a man's brain to process information four times faster than a woman's. Yet this doesn't mean that a man's information is necessarily more accurate or valuable, it is simply arrived at faster.
However, regardless, as Shau Ri said, in the end men and women are probably equal in the their intelligence. A human being is a human being. Seeming differences in intelligence most probably have more to do with instictual and societal restrictions we place upon ourselves than our actual potential intelligence.
Aside from that, each individual is so vastly different, that to make any sort of accurate judgement between the sexes would be very difficult, if not impossible.
Edited: Zeuts on 7th Apr, 2005 - 3:07am
In my school, most of the top students are males. I think there is a difference between females and males, at least from what I see in my school. It is not necessarily intelligence, but women tend to be more ambitious in the courses they take, striving to get a good grade. Males are more slacky, generally, but the most intelligent people in my school are mostly males. I don't know what conclusion to reach from that, but those two forces balance themselves out and grade-wise, females and males get about the same in average.
Smudge I am confused by your post. First you say the top students are all male, but then you say males and females get the same grades on average. If all the top students are males, then the average must lean toward males getting higher grades?
Now, I think the reason males do better in school is societal not level of intelligence. It still isn't considered cool for a girl to be smart. Studies show that when girls attend all girl schools they do much better academically. The theory being that there are no boys around for which to play dumb or uninterested.
|Smudge I am confused by your post. First you say the top students are all male, but then you say males and females get the same grades on average. If all the top students are males, then the average must lean toward males getting higher grades?|
I found a particularly interesting article in which some research was done on this very topic, and the trend seems to be that girls are outperforming boys when it comes to most academic areas. Sports seems to be the only area where boys still hold an advantage. Some of the science fields also show boys having an advantage. Here are some excerpts from the article that I found interesting:
|Recent studies, however, provide evidence that boys no longer hold the advantage. As Diane Ravitch, former Director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement, stated in Sommers (2000, p.22), "The AAUW report [How Schools Shortchange Girls] was just completely wrong. What was so bizarre is that it came out right at the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area. It might have been the right story 20 years earlier, but coming out when it did it was like calling a wedding a funeral... There were all these special programs put in place for girls, and no one paid any attention to boys.".....|
Kleinfeld (1998) argues that the findings reported by the AAUW were based on a selective review of the research and that findings contrary to the report's message were suppressed. She reports that, from grade school through college, females currently receive higher grades and obtain higher class ranks. They also receive more honors in every field except science and sports.....
Sommers (2000, pp. 24-25) reports that, "The representation of American girls as apprehensive and academically diminished is not true to the facts. Girls, allegedly so timorous and lacking in confidence, now outnumber boys in student government, in honor societies, on school newspapers, and even in debating clubs. Only in sports are the boys still ahead, and women's groups are targeting the sports gap with a vengeance...Girls read more books. They outperform males on tests of artistic and musical ability. More girls than boys study abroad."
"Conversely, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely as girls to be enrolled in special education programs and four times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD" (Sommers, p. 25). "The over-representation of males in special education classes and in virtually every other category of emotional, behavioral, or neurological impairment is undisputed" (Kleinfeld, pp.20-21).
Thanks Xander for the report. Now, we know the truth...girls are smarter than boys. :P
Edited: funbikerchick on 7th Apr, 2005 - 8:28pm
For my money, the real question is why there are so few woman composers. Women have done well at most things for a long time, and where they haven't it's usually been a matter of social circumstances which didn't let them try (e.g. women in most societies would not have been allowed near a life drawing class, so it's small wonder that so few visual artists are female). But music has always been a "female" activity, and almost no women have ever made a mark in this field.
Come to think of it, poetry too; a very male field. Women have dominated the novel in English, and done well in other languages too; and drama was long a male preserve, so the gals haven't had a fair chance (though they're not catching up very fast, come to think of it); but why no real poetesses since Sappho? Women's poetry through the ages has almost always shown clumsy verbal ability, very little humour, and generally a level of interest that means only a graduate student desperate for a dissertation topic in women's studies would bother to read them. Are men just more creative?
As a side question, why are there so few really good female chess players? After all, bridge is just as mentally demanding and as violent, and there are plenty of women who enjoy and do well at that one.
p.s. I am familiar with the names that the forseeable feminist response is likely to shout out in response to this post.
That's a very interesting perspective, FierceKitty, one that I hadn't considered before, actually. I wonder how much of that is the left/right brain issue: Since men are more linear and visually inclined, perhaps that flows more easily into the construction of music and poetry. As women are more tactile and emotionally inclined, perhaps it's their response to poetry and music that guides them to sing and to play. Something I'll ponder over for awhile, now that you've pointed it out. :)