by Cassandra R. Elias
For the first time, studies officially show women scoring higher than men when it comes to IQ tests. It's been assumed that women are more "cerebral" where men are more "physical."
This isn't the case according to the latest research conducted by James Flynn, an emeritus professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Females have just surpassed males on intelligence quotient tests.
When IQ testing first began, women were as much as five points behind men, leading psychologists to believe this was due to genetic differences. But the gap has been narrowing in recent years.
The IQ of both sexes has increased over the last 100 years but women's have rose faster. Professor Flynn told ABC News, "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."
Flynn collated IQ examination results from countries in western Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina and Estonia. These showed that in westernized countries the gap in scores between men and women had become minimal.
The data for making exact comparisons was sparser and could be carried out for only a handful of countries. It included Australia, where male and female IQs were found to be almost identical.
In New Zealand, Estonia and Argentina, women scored marginally more than men.
One possible explanation is that women's lives have become more demanding as they multitask between raising a family and doing a job.
Another is that women have a slightly higher potential intelligence than men and are only now realizing it.
Flynn will publish his findings online and in a book in September. He says more data is needed to explain the trend, however.
What do you think of this turn of events? Does it confirm what you thought before or not? Do IQ tests mean anything to you?