It looks like women are taking top honors in the brains department, if you believe the new study regarding IQ tests.
James Flynn, a New Zealand-based researcher plans to release his findings this fall in the form of a book detailing the collected data from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Estonia and Argentina on scores on a standard IQ test. ABC News reports that “at least 500 men and 500 women, most between the ages of 15 and 18” were studied in each country.
Wait, let’s back up a bit, I thought, when I first read that.
We’re speaking about teens here not men and women.
Nevertheless, Flynn believes the results reflect a change in the times, or as he refers to it, “modernity”:
“Over the last 100 years, everyone in the developing world has been gaining about three IQ points, but women have been gaining faster. 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’s assertion leaves out the fact that he tested mostly adolescents, a fact that seems to have been neglected in many media reports. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to study adult men and women who have surpassed the tumultuous teen years?
“As we enter the modern worlds, our minds change just as our automobiles have changed,” says Flynn. “Where women can have an equal chance to interface with the modern world, they equal on IQ and surpass on academic performance.”
I don’t believe that this study reliably proves that women and girls are smarter than men and boys. I tend to think that each individual person regardless of gender is such a complex blend of DNA and life experience, and that it’s innately impossible to measure what groups are “smarter” than others (and maybe even that it’s a waste of time to try to do so). However, I do believe that Flynn’s research shows a great thing: that girls are blossoming and possibly hiding their intelligence less than they have in past years and maybe that girls are feeling more comfortable challenging boys academically.
Whether any group is actually smarter seems to be just more inconsequential fodder in the never-ending battle of the sexes argument.
Do you believe that one gender is smarter? And shouldn’t grown adults have been used instead of teens?
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