“But the female mind has demonstrated a capacity for all the mental acquirements and achievements of men, and as generations ensue that capacity will be expanded; the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose. Woman will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.”
Over at Jezebel there’s an interesting article with the straightforward title: Women Are All of a Sudden Scoring Higher than Men on IQ Tests. It follows on the announcement that…well, you read the title. No need to be redundant. Apparently, for the first time since they began keeping records, women are averaging up to 5 points higher than men on Intelligence Quotient tests. This follows on another report suggesting that women are now earning more college degrees than men, and that young professional women are now outperforming young men in the job market.
By the many noodly appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, how could such a thing have happened? You may be asking yourself. This flies in the face of everything that male chauvinist and religious folks have been telling us for ages. Lady-brainz are delicate things that aren’t supposed to be taxed with too much thinking. Thinking causes worry lines…and feminism. Best leave it to the menfolk. Clearly it is time to panic. But first, let’s cast about for something to blame.
Two quotes from the article in the Telegraph suggest that:
One theory for the result is that the demands of juggling family life and building a career have made women more intelligent.
This sounds a little like the reasoning of Evolutionary Psychology. I am not a fan of this budding ‘science’ (And I call this science in the same way I call homeopathy science). It’s a little too have-the-answer-I-want-now-lets-look-for-the-question. You know, the opposite of how science actually works. But that is a post for another day. Suffice it to say that there’s no evidence that multitasking makes one smarter, and plenty of evidence to suggest the opposite.
Another theory is those women have always had the potential for higher results, but are only now realising it.
Which sounds an awful lot like my Tesla quote from the beginning of this post. Oh Tesla, is there anything you didn’t know? Keep in mind he said this about a hundred years ago. Please excuse me while I take a moment to sigh dreamily while thinking of my favourite mad scientist:
If only I had white wings and laser eyes… Okay, I’m back.
Tesla’s quote (and I guess the second quote from the article too) is also an excellent answer to that question asked by angry dudebros everywhere: ‘Yeah, well if women are as smart as men how come they never invented anything?’ See, but then you have to bring up that word that frightens the dudebros: Privilege. If women aren’t allowed to go to school and learn things like engineering, you can’t honestly suggest that women not engineering anything noteworthy makes them stupid. Keep in mind I did say that it isn’t an honest argument. Not that dudebros wouldn’t try to use it anyway.
I know there’s a few other arguments out there as well. One is that the IQ test is flawed. We know this. Of course it’s biased towards people educated in a certain way and with a certain social background. *cough* White Caucasian males *cough* That’s the point, right? The playing field has apparently been leveled. And two, Affirmative Action. What this last one sounds like is sour grapes from someone that is so caught up in this zero sum game of boys vs. girls that they need to cast about for excuses. It almost seems like they’re suggesting the only way a woman could perform equally to a man is by cheating. That there is raw and pure sexism. Also: Fighting words.
The important thing to consider is that over the last 100 years IQ averages have been going up all around as the complexity of the world demands more of us. That means the boys and the girls are scoring better. This is a victory. Yay for education! As far as I’m concerned there is no girls-vs-boys to factor in. It’s a wonderful thing that women are showing more of their true potential. This isn’t something that should make anyone cast about for excuses and vent anger. Higher education has helped us all achieve better scores and this has got to be a good thing, right?