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Why Men and women have differing IQs

20 June 2016, 12:30 Solomon Opala

The difference in intelligence between boys and girls starts to emerge at school by the time both sexes reach 21. Men on average score five IQ points higher than women. Psychologists define intelligence as a range of cognitive abilities that include reasoning, problem-solving, spatial ability, general knowledge and memory. In all of these, men outperform women - although women hold their own when it comes to verbal reasoning and have a definite edge in foreign language skills and spelling.

We look for answers to this disparity in scientific theory and facts, biblical wisdom and common sense.

1. Evolutionary Theory

The field of evolutionary psychology tries to explains why men have emerged as the more intelligent sex. As the hunter part of a hunter-gatherer society, men were faced with complex, life-threatening problems that needed to be solved on a daily basis. A good example of a challenge is how to trap that elusive antelope. The hunters who used all their mental capabilities to come up with the answers, successfully killing animals day after day, were clearly the most intelligent. They were the high-status males of their day and - provocative as it is to say so - must have possessed far sharper minds than those of women engaged in the relatively simple tasks of gathering berries and raising children. These high-status males would also have been the most eligible mates, and it would be their genes - chief among which would be those controlling male brain size - that would be passed on to the next generation.

2. Scientific fact

Men have physically bigger brains than women, even after adjustments for their different body sizes. This might underpin the five-point difference in IQ between the sexes. In daily mundane activities however, there's not much real difference between a man with an IQ of 105 and a woman with an IQ of100. The real difference only emerges as we rise up the IQ scale to the sort of level that the really top jobs require and as we drop lower down the scale - because men, as it turns out, have a much wider range of intelligence than women.

There is variation in men’s intelligence because of the Y chromosome. While most women are at the middle of the normal curve, men dominate the extremes of most stupid and most intelligent. As a result, there are not only far more men with high IQs than there are women, but there are also far more stupid men around than there are stupid women.

While the abundance of stupid men has always caused social problems, it is the relative abundance of highly intelligent men that has caused problems for several generations of emancipated, liberated, ambitious women. When these women get close to the top, they are simply out-numbered by highly intelligent and often ruthlessly ambitious men.

Read Also: Are Men more brainy than women?

However, when it comes to verbal intelligence, women match men because, in our hunter-gatherer past, women needed verbal abilities to negotiate their relationships with both men and women and to teach and socialize their children.

3. Common Sense

Form precedes function. The unique form or design of the sexes fulfills unique functions. Men are hunters and gatherers and women are nurturers and gathers at the core. We see that the very highest and most demanding of levels in society, men have a natural advantage - and it's one we've seen in countless natural history TV documentaries. Take, for example, the case of fighting chimps and you get the generally aggressive idea. Thanks to high levels of the male sex hormone testosterone; men are far more competitive and motivated for success than women.

For a man - at least as far as his hormone system is concerned - succeeding, competing and beating his rivals is very much still a matter of life and death. Consequently, ambitious, high-achieving men typically work harder, compete more aggressively and become totally immersed in their careers, while even the most high-achieving women will often admit to finding themselves distracted by their genetically preconditioned aptitude for nurture and support. For them, it is often a question of what to get for supper, or whether the children have got clean shirts for school. These are small distractions, admittedly, but at the very highest level they have an effect.

4. Biblical wisdom

God is the master architect and designers of all things and people. Bible describes women as the weaker sex and playing a subordinate and supporting role to the man in the dominion mandate given to mankind by God. Since men don’t have a womb and are expected to be the head of the family and also providers and protectors of women and children, it is natural that they have to be given the resources for the job. These include a bigger body, muscles, a stronger back and mind. We are to work together and not against each other in meaningless battle of the sexes.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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