Women Take Historic Lead Over Men In IQ Testing

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women and men_taking test
NewsScience 5 Comments

It’s official: women are smarter than men! Sorry fellas.

As reported by The Telegraph on Sunday, a new study shows that women have scored higher than men in intelligence testing for the first time in the 100 year history of the IQ test. This is a dramatic twist in test score results as women have previously lagged behind men over the last century, at times by as much as five points. But now the gap has closed with females taking the lead.

The author of the study is James Flynn, a world-renowned expert in IQ testing, who believes the demands of the modern age are raising standards of intelligence.

Flynn said, “In the last 100 years the IQ scores of both men and women have risen, but women’s have risen faster. This is a consequence of modernity. The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ.”

One theory for the result is that the demands of juggling family life and building a career have made women more intelligent. Another theory is those women have always had the potential for higher results, but are only now realizing it.

Flynn will publish the results of his study in a book due out this September.

To read The Telegraph article in its entirety click here.

  • Dejuisti

    I think the article leaves out some critical facts about the “study” that can be found here:
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/16/women-beat-men-on-iq-tests-for-first-time/

    “Flynn has not yet published the results of his study, saving that for a book he will publish in September.” — Hmm… I guess a controversial topic and slanted study to sell a book is completely legit.

    “he told ABC News that he collected data from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Estonia and Argentina on scores on a standard IQ test, called the Raven test.” — So only 5 countries with a specialized test? Well done Flynn.

    “Each country tested at least 500 men and 500 women, most between the ages of 15 and 18, Flynn said.” — 500 of each sex in countries with millions and millions of people? MOST OF THEM TEENAGERS?! SERIOUSLY?! AND THE ARTICLES LABEL THEM “MEN” & “WOMEN”???????

    This is media fluff that news outlets are reporting knowing it will cause controversy and invite engagement. Terrible “science.” Terrible reporting (not WYSK, the major outlets).

    BTW, I would love to know what would happen if for the entire “past century” news outlets ever year released an article saying “Men are smarter than women… again.” Don’t think it would be received that well.

    • WYSK

      Thanks for filling in the blanks for us Dejuisti… we appreciate the perspective that the added details cast on the scope of the study.

  • LRB

    The post above ends with the fact that “Flynn will publish the results of his study in a book due out this September”. Sure the guy wants to sell books… why wouldn’t he after devoting time to research?

    But rather than the men vs. women stuff, which is the obvious headline maker, I think its more interesting to know that across the board we are ALL getting smarter compliments of the complexities of the modern world, according to this. I was under the assumption that we were ALL getting less intelligent because we all have gadgets to do things for us now… spell, write, information gather, communicate, etc. So, I for one, am very happy to hear that we are all smarter than I thought and that we are continuing to increase, not destroy brain power.

    I would also assume that if James Flynn is presenting this shift in the IQ “raven” test results that the make-up of his previous test groups is identical to the groups he tested that showed women coming out ahead of the game now.

    Perhaps there is a specific reason that his test groups are isolated to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Estonia and Argentina. Maybe there is research that shows that based on the culturally diverse make-up of these countries, you can access the best cross section of the global population. I imagine his book would go into that as well.

    All in all, I think this is very interesting.

  • ALJ

    I agree with the comments above that this is a very interesting study. As with LRB, I would like to know why Mr. Flynn tested in those particular five countries. Perhaps he will give us the reasons why in his book.

  • gargouille

    I’d like to respond briefly to this reader comment: ‘I would love to know what would happen if for the entire “past century” news outlets ever year released an article saying “Men are smarter than women… again.”‘

    They did. Until my lifetime (I’m 40), there was never a woman delivering the news, women’s work was never reported on, and women had no recourse to denounce the news (or any other institution, for that matter) for erasing them from culture, as if they did not matter at all. Since many women worldwide still grow up hearing in one way or another that they are not as smart or capable as men, well, they need and derserve this little “it’s not true.”

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