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Girls/ Children

I would greatly appreciate some feedback from you to help shed some light on an issue brewing between my wife and I. She claims that females are more intelligent than males. I'm not sure I agree. Who is right? I know it's been proven that girl's IQ scores in pre-school are much higher than boy's, but I argue that over a period of time, boys eventually catch up to the girls and some even surpass. Puberty has a lot to do with this. But she argues that throughout H.S. girls by far out perform boys across the board, and that the gap increases every year, and will continue to do so at even greater quanities as gender equality is instituted. My wife claims that she has also read articles that claim women are more intelligent than men-period. I know that males score higher on SAT's, but she discredits that because many claim the SAT's are gender biased. So do I have grounds to support my side of the argument? Or are her assessments correct? What have previous studies shown? Your response to the above would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you.

I don't want to get in the middle of your marriage, but I will add what I think. I don't think that one gender is more intelligent than the other. I think that each person--male or female--has their own level of intelligence, however, not every person realizes that potential. There are many cases in point that prove that men and women are capable of achieving the same level of intelligence. The problem comes with "socialization." Many times, of course girls/young women/women underestimate their intelligence by pursuing a more "traditional" female role based on nurturance and emotions rather than intelligence. There is also the well documented fact that many women do not succeed academically because they are overlooked in the classroom, especially math and science classes---"masculine subjects." Rather than speak up, they become shy and buy into the female gender role.

For more on this you should read Carol Gilligan's In A Different Voice. As you mentioned there is also the problem with the SAT's---the gender gap, which is well-documented in a book by Phyllis Rosser--The SAT Gender Gap. This book explains that boys tend to do better on SAT's because of the multiple choice--they are less likely to second guess themselves. Conversely, girls, who as teenagers have lower self-esteem, are more likely to second guess themselves and therefore, less likely to do well on the SAT's.

I hope the above helps. Sometimes it's easiest to start with the "personal" and then move to the "political"---Do you think that you are more intelligent than your wife? Does she think that she is more intelligent than you?

Good luck--and thanks for writing.


Amy

 

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