the population will dismiss this story, but a study claims that the cleverest people
are much more likely to be men than women.
are more intelligent than women by about five IQ points on average, making them better
suited for “tasks of high complexity”, according to the authors of a paper due to
be published in the British Journal of Psychology.
differences in intelligence between the sexes helped to explain why many more men
than women won Nobel Prizes or became chess grandmasters, the study by Paul Irwing
and Professor Richard Lynn concluded.
showed that men outnumbered women in increasing numbers as intelligence levels rise.
There were twice as many with IQ scores of 125, a level typical for people with first-class
scores rose to 155, a level associated with genius, there were 5.5 men for every woman.
Irwing, a senior lecturer in organisational psychology at
, said that he was uncomfortable with the findings. But he added that the evidence
was clear despite the insistence of many academics that there were “no meaningful
sex differences” in levels of intelligence.
personal reasons I would like to believe that men and women are equal, and broadly
that’s true. But over a period of time the evidence in favour of biological factors
has become stronger and stronger,” he said.
have been dragged in a direction that I don’t particularly like, but it would be sensible
if the debate was based on what we pretty much know to be the case.”
findings from the study involving 24,000 students will intensify a battle of the sexes
that was triggered last week by Michael Buerk, the BBC newscaster, who complained
that “life is now being lived according to women’s rules”. He said that men had been
reduced to little more than sperm-donors because of the female domin- ance of society.
Lynn, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the
, is no stranger to inflammatory conclusions as the author of a number of publications
arguing that there are differences in intelligence between racial groups.
published a controversial study in 2003 that identified a clear correlation between
the levels of prosperity in 60 countries and the average IQ of their populations.
Lynn argued in a letter to The Psychologist this
month that the differences between the sexes were explained by a link between IQ and
brain size. He said: “Men have larger brains than women by about 10 per cent and larger
brains confer greater brain power, so men must necessarily be on average more intelligent