NZ women overtake men's IQ scores
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 3:43p.m.
Women have overtaken men's IQ scores for the first time since testing began a century ago, according to a New Zealand expert on the subject who happens to be a man.
Emeritus Professor James Flynn, of Otago University, whose research on intelligence has gained international recognition, says women had lagged by as many as five points behind men in IQ testing.
But the gap has been narrowing in recent years and now women's scores are higher in some countries, including New Zealand, he is quoted as saying on various British media websites.
"In the last 100 years the IQ scores of both men and women have risen but women's have risen faster," he said.
"This is a consequence of modernity. The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ."
One explanation is that women's lives have become more demanding as they multitask between raising a family and working outside the home.
Prof Flynn says the full effect of modernity on women is only just emerging and more research is needed to explain the trend.
He based his comments on IQ test results from countries in western Europe and from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina and Estonia.
These showed the gap between men and women had become minimal and women scored marginally more than men in New Zealand, Estonia and Argentina.
In Australia male and female IQs were found to be almost identical.
Prof Flynn, who could not be contacted for further comment yesterday, is noted for his discovery of the "Flynn effect" - the year-on-year increase of IQ scores around the world.
The US-born academic, who stood unsuccessfully for parliament twice for the left-wing Alliance Party, also made headlines in New Zealand by saying the country risked having a less intelligent population after the 2006 census showed tertiary-educated women producing fewer babies than other women.
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17/08/2012 8:38:24 p.m.
There are a number of other reasons why this could be happening.
-- It has been reported that the psychological development of boys is more likely to be impaired by being placed in kindergarten at (too) early an age.
-- Mating selection combined with changes in family environment. If women are choosing men with lower intelligence and/or less dominant behaviour as their mating partners (in order for themselves to maintain a higher degree of control and dominance) the boys will tend to emulate their less intelligent, less dominant fathers, regardless of the boys' native intelligence. Boys may then tend to underachieve relative to their genetic potential. The girls, however, will tend to emulate their more intelligent mothers and thus achieve (more of) their full potential.
-- As pointed out here by Petter and LB: The (liberal) educational system tend to favor (the behaviour of) girls. Over a period of 40 years or so the former system based on masculine authority and clearcut hierarchy have been undermined. For this reason, and seeking better paid jobs, a whole generation of men have abandoned the educational sector. The boys may thus be lacking in (more) intelligent) male role models at school as well as at home.
-- Mothers now narcissistically mirroring themselves in their daughters and no longer providing their sons (actually having a greater need - especially if damaged by being placed in kindergarten at too early an age) with the same amount of essential stimuli for early language (and intelligence) development. At the same time the mothers may be (consciously or subconsciously) favoring their daugthers.
-- Fathers compensating for lost masculine authority by (consciously or subconsciosly) encouraging stereotyped masculine "action" behaviour in their sons - hampering the pursuit of intellectual development.
And so on and so forth... until the very demise of "western civilization".
17/07/2012 11:40:02 p.m.
Totally agree with both comments.
This is also the case in Norway.
17/07/2012 1:12:41 p.m.
When men outscore women on IQ tests (or almost anything for that matter), then it is because women were/are oppressed--or because IQ tests discriminate against women.
When women outscore men on IQ tests, then it is genetic.
Regardless, I'm looking forward to the day when men can sit at home, clean the house, etc., while the superior women work long hard hours innovating and progressing human civilization, fight my wars, and protect my neighborhood. I can't wait.
16/07/2012 4:52:16 p.m.
Its no surprise in case of New Zealand because the education system is set up to suit girls not boys.
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