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‘Are Men Smarter Than Women?‘ The Verdict

The Intersection
By Sheril Kirshenbaum
May 28, 2009 9:04 PMNov 5, 2019 12:21 AM


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On Tuesday I composed this letter to my blog BFF Isis, forwarding her a troubling inquiry that hit my inbox on Memorial Day:

Can I ask, from your perspective, what you think of this study suggesting that men are smarter than women? 

First, thanks to readers for so many terrific responses (

I especially enjoyed this comment from Zen Faulkes

). And today Sb's resident Goddess has provided her take on Rushton's so-called 'study'. Here's an excerpt:

You see, here is the problem with any study that attempts to investigate the innate intellectual differences between men and women -- like some of the papers I reviewed this week, any study that could possibly be done would lack the appropriate experimental control. Comparing men and women, even of you controlled for things like, age, cranial circumference, years of education, waist-to-hip ratio, etc. is still like comparing apples and oranges. This is because boys and girls are treated differently as they develop. Comparing these two groups in the context of today's society would be like comparing the response of two strains of rat, who had been housed in different conditions, fed different diets, given different amounts of exercise and unique stimulation, to a particular mediator and then concluding that differences in response are related only to the strain difference. It's lunacy I'll tell you.

Figure 1: Isis's editorial decision for John Philippe Rushton's manuscript

Read Isis' full and most excellent letter and make sure to continue on over to ScienceWomen for more...

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