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James Flynn, an expert on IQ testing is soon to publish a new book that says women are now showing up as having higher IQs than men. Women it seems are more intelligent than previously thought. Excuse my yawning...
Research in this area is usually a tad spurious and media headlines can be misleading so I ignored this latest revelation for a while. But so many people have asked me about it that I decided to take a look. Wading through the 'battle of sexes' tags, 'women have always been more clever' and associated ephemera this is what I found:
James Flynn is indeed a recognised expert on IQ and he is an Emeritus Professor in Political Studies at University in New Zealand. In other words, he deserves to be heard but not necessarily to go unchallenged. In his most recent research on I.Q., Flynn looked at scores from across Western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia and Argentina. He found that when modern IQ testing began in 1905, women trailed men by up to five points. But over time, that gap has more or less disappeared, and in some countries, women are now scoring better on these tests than men are. Flynn said that the increasingly complicated nature of our society accounts for the changes in these scores, but that more research is needed to make any definitive claims. (My italics)
That's not quite how popular media have portrayed it, and also Prof Flynn does have a book to sell...
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