January 27, 2017

"Common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability (brilliance, genius, etc.) with men more than women."

"These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy). Here we show that these stereotypes are endorsed by, and influence the interests of, children as young as 6. Specifically, 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are 'really, really smart.' Also at age 6, girls begin to avoid activities said to be for children who are 'really, really smart.' These findings suggest that gendered notions of brilliance are acquired early and have an immediate effect on children’s interests."

The abstract for "Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests," published in Science. 

100 comments:

Big Mike said...

Without even reading it I call bullshit. Of course being married to a retired nuclear scientist does influence my perspective.

Michael K said...

This stuff is very dated. Girls have been pushed ahead and given every advantage for over a decade.

MayBee said...

I don't believe it.

I haven't been a little girl for a very long time, and none of the girls I grew up with thought this way. And we've gotten way more "girl power-y" ever since.

Owen said...

I am so sick of this gendrification of every landscape. Give a kid a hammer, everything is a nail. Give a post-modern "scholar" a grant, everything is heteronormative cissification because patriarchal hegemony.

Boring, sterile, completely inane.

Sam L. said...

I take it then that girls are easily intimidated?

dhagood said...
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Jon said...

May one mention that in all measured characteristics, women are less variable than men? Thus, standard deviations for women are smaller, hence outliers aren't as far away from the mean - in this case, fewer geniuses and fewer morons than men.
Allegedly has something to do with the relative sizes of the X and Y chromosome, but that sounds to me more like a rationalization. But I am not a biologist, so what do I know?

dhagood said...

my wife's been an engineer with what's now lockheed martin for 36 years. i also know a number of smart women. that being said, data from intelligence tests show that women in general have fewer geniuses and fewer dullards then do men.

MayBee said...

I also have to say that a bunch of women walking around in vulva costumes kind of gives the image of idiocy. Your daughters are watching!!

Sydney said...

Yes, Maybee!! Exactly the thought that came to my mind.

tim in vermont said...

The payoff for being smart is a lot higher for men. Women can have as many children as they want either way.

rhhardin said...

Different brains, different interests.

tim in vermont said...

But we have faith that the uncaring and random Universe created men and women exactly the same in every way except the ones that are visually undeniable.

This is why I say atheism is so rare, protestations notwithstanding.

Crazy Jane said...

It is true that the bell curve for women has shorter tails on either end, but so what?

We underestimate the power of motivation. A few children in every large group are motivated -- show them a merit badge, and they want it. They work harder and they get further.

Static Ping said...

There was a time when I would have trusted what I read in Science, assuming I understood what they were talking about. Alas, I don't anymore. With science in general having been corrupted, Science is no different. They have an agenda, they publish articles that support that agenda, they cannot be trusted as impartial. If they published something that went against their biases I wouldn't even trust that. The trust is gone. They will not get it back.

Rob said...

Lin Bian and Sarah-Jane Leslie: "We've found that common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability with men more than women."

Andrei Cimpian: "Say goodnight, Gracie."

rehajm said...

These findings suggest that gendered notions of brilliance are acquired early and have an immediate effect on children’s interests

Acquired? Why rule out they might be hard wired? Evidence?

Not very sciencey...

Fernandinande said...

What a compassionate narrative!

Big Mike said...

I agree with MayBee. If Hillary Clinton and Ashley Judd and women running around in vulva costumes are the best and brightest that the female gender have to offer then it is well that they stay away from cyclotrons. (One of our dates was spent in the control room of the campus cyclotron back when she was still just my girlfriend.)

SGT Ted said...

Another assertion that women are oppressed by society tarted up as "social science". *yawn*

FWBuff said...

Sounds fake.

CJinPA said...

These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers

I never knew how easily discouraged women supposedly are until this year. Lots of developments beyond their personal world make them cry and rage, like election outcomes, and their career choices are dictated not by reason but by cultural stimuli. Is this really the narrative feminists want to keep promoting?

William said...

I've known a fair number of accomplished and successful women. I think it's a crime the way they treat their daughters. They makes those poor girls play with dolls and, later on, refuse to let them take any math courses.

EDH said...

The study seems to address perception of achievement at the highest level, "intellectual brilliance," not simply the cultivation of above average intelligence and ability.

Hence, for most children it's not about self-perception, it's about who fits the mold of the genius archetype. As the article says, "really, really smart”—childhood's version of adult brilliance."

As a result, the study doesn't address the anti-intellectual cultural norms that more pervasively hold children back, in particular boys, at more routine levels of achievement.

For example, the corrosive effect of more broad-based anti-intellectual tendency among boys to tear-down intellectual achievement at every level of achievement, or the curriculum choices and discipline policies that favor girls over boys.

Big Mike said...

@Crazy Jane, all the motivation in the world won't help you solve Shroedinger's equation if you brain isn't properly wired to deal with partial differential equations.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Does thinking with their penises give men an advantage over women thinking with their vaginas?

William said...

Any one ever notice the huge disparity in violent crimes committed by men compared to such crimes committed by women. Could this have anything to do with intrinsic sex differences, or is this a result of our culture's gender stereotypes? I look forward to the day when women can aspire to be axe murderers and achieve equal success in this field.

Fernandinande said...

There will never be a female Paglia because reasons.

CJinPA said...

"Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests"

As an elected school board member, I will mark this date and see how long it takes for this study to be cited in a request to assign modern feminist literature to first-grade girls.

Men may be a dwindling presence on college campuses, but that's not to say we can't do more to speed up the decline.

J. Farmer said...

I can't believe they are rehashing such a tired, contrived subject. There is likely no (or very little difference) in average intellectual abilities between men and women, but you don't get the same bell curve. Women's bell curves tend to be taller and narrower, and men's tend to be shorter and wider. That is, men tend to be overrepresented at the very low ends and the very high ends. And there is almost certainly a biological component to this. Men and women are different.

Paul said...

"It is true that the bell curve for women has shorter tails on either end, but so what?"

There are more males with intelligence on the extreme right side of the bell curve that's what. Coupled with the scientific research that shows testosterone relates to more abstract thinking among other things and it's easy to see why 99% of inventions,artistic creations, and other foundations of civilization were produced by males.

Females have a vital and unique function. To gestate and bear progeny. There is a whole host of biological mechanisms that support this. It's only reasonable to assume that males are wired to interact with the world in a different way that calls for creatively handling the threats and opportunities presented by the environment while females are focusing on children and their social network. There is no shame in this, and all the Cultural-Marxist feminist desire to turn the social order on its head will not change the biological reality that shapes the human race. It's a Procrustean exercise that will just produce more unbalanced, unhappy people which is nakedly apparent in the post-wall feminist population, and the lost, frustrated beta cuck men in their world

traditionalguy said...

Yeah, yeah. Ivanka Trump is oppressed. She has top rated social intelligence and a good mind, but she could be so much more.

J. Farmer said...
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rehajm said...

"really, really smart”—childhood's version of adult brilliance."

How did they adjust for Massachusetts kids version of adult brilliance, 'Wicked Smart'?

Henry said...
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Curious George said...
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Henry said...

Specifically, 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are 'really, really smart.'

The children were told that a person was "really really smart" and then asked to pick an adult figure that represented that person. The boys were more likely to pick a male adult than the girls were a female.

But the researchers have already stated as fact that "women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy)"

What they have measured, therefore, is that older children have more awareness of the adult world -- as it exists right now -- and are better oddsmakers.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

But we have faith that the uncaring and random Universe created men and women exactly the same in every way except the ones that are visually undeniable.

I wouldn't say we had "faith" in it; I'd say we haven't seen any evidence to suggest that we live in a caring, purposeful universe.

This is why I say atheism is so rare, protestations notwithstanding.

I'd say it's rare because people would much rather believe that when their physical bodies dies, some invisible spirit self will detach and go on living in perpetuity.

rhhardin said...

Probably it was written by a climate scientist.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sure, some of it could be stereotypes, but the reality is that these subjects are really hard (at least physics - not sure about philosophy, after getting crosswise with a philosophy prof almost 50 years ago because he couldn't "prove" his point empirically, like a physicist could, but was rather arguing from a position of "expert" consensus). Not the work itself, of course - I had a math major with a lot of physics as an undergraduate because it allowed me a lot of time to play bridge. But intellectually. My guess is that > 90%, maybe > 95%, of undergraduates, are mentally incapable of the sort of abstract thought required for upper level undergraduate physics classes.

Still, that doesn't give males that much of an advantage due to the longer male IQ distribution tail. The other thing is that there just aren't that many jobs out there for undergraduate degrees in either physics or philosophy. My kid graduated summa cum laude with honors in physics and math, but ended up going the engineering route in grad school because there was so much more opportunity (and their physics undergrad is useful in their research topic). There just weren't nearly as many grad school opportunities available in physics, as in other areas of STEM. The ones getting them were really bright, the ones out there on the extreme tails of the IQ distributions. Even in applied physics, and esp in theoretical physics (one of my inventors used to tell me that experimental and applied physicists were the ones who couldn't make it as theoretical physicists - he was, of course, one of the latter, until he got bored in academia, moved to industry, where I met him. Scary bright).

Think of it this way. While both sexes have essentially identical mean IQs, the standard deviation for males is greater than for females. My (uneducated) guess is that it may have something to do with how many X chromosomes you have. In any case, what this means is that you have more really, really smart guys than gals, and more really, really dumb ones too. This doesn't matter much for undergraduate degrees, or even most doctorate degrees (where the mean IQ for most doctorates tend to be roughly 1 std deviation above the population mean (100)). But it does matter when you get out to 2 and 3 std deviations from the population mean. There are just more males out at that end of the distribution, thanks to their longer distribution tail. The further out you go, the worse it is. And at least physics, and maybe philosophy too, requires that you be out a bit on the tail to understand the subject matter. But the shortage of graduate school opportunities require that you be really far out on the tail to get selected. And, at that point, it is a numbers game, with many more males than females out there.

Drago said...

rehajm: "Acquired? Why rule out they might be hard wired? Evidence?"

Be declaring that these ideas/views are "acquired" the left can then be empowered to create the mind-altering re-education structures that are necessary for them to build the "New Soviet Man" and achieve perfection and heaven on earth.

Of course it will all end up as it always does, in mass graves, but that has never stopped the left in the past.

In fact, for most leftists, that is a feature not a bug.

I Callahan said...

Is this really the narrative feminists want to keep promoting?

If it means socialism, power and free shit in the end? Yes.

Quaestor said...

A vintage whine.

mockturtle said...

These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy)

Good grief! Excuses. Always the same lame excuses. Women who do succeed in these fields are those not looking for excuses. I'd say there are fewer women in these fields because fewer women are interested. To paraphrase GB Shaw, those women who can, do. Those who can't, make excuses.

Xmas said...

"...women are subject to stronger modesty norms than men, perhaps 6- and 7-year-old girls’ lower interest in the games for brilliant children (studies three and four) was due to an increase in concerns about modesty."

What the f@#$?

I'd put more weight on 6 and 7 year old girls beginning to learn social norms and figuring out "brilliant" people don't follow them.


Fernandinande said...

Big Mike said...
solve Shroedinger's[sic] equation


Like all other physics equations, the answer is either 0. or 1. :
H*¥(r,t) - i*h*d(¥(r,t))/dt = 0
H*¥(r,t) / (i*h*d(¥(r,t))/dt) = 1

Bob Boyd said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
"Does thinking with their penises give men an advantage over women thinking with their vaginas?"

The men's thinking style seemed more probative, whereas the women seemed to just be taking it all in.

damikesc said...

I love that subliminal messaging impacts women --- but their PEER GROUP doesn't tend to do so.

I also have to say that a bunch of women walking around in vulva costumes kind of gives the image of idiocy.

That sounds like feminine misogyny!!!

I do find it humorous that people wonder why a lot of people didn't take the Women's March seriously. A march with women dressed as vaginas, for the sake of feminism, might not want to be taken seriously.

Good grief! Excuses. Always the same lame excuses. Women who do succeed in these fields are those not looking for excuses. I'd say there are fewer women in these fields because fewer women are interested. To paraphrase GB Shaw, those women who can, do. Those who can't, make excuses.

They also seem far less interested in the fields that women dominate. Why don't men teach? Why aren't men nurses? It's only in the fields that women have less interest in that we have to concern ourselves with such trivialities.

Hey Skipper said...

More than 98% of small engine mechanics are male. This same disparity is true of any occupation with the word "mechanic" attached.

D is the measure of the difference between the mean of two populations with respect to some criteria. In mechanical aptitude, male-female D=1. That means the peak of the male distribution is one standard deviation greater than the female distribution.

Which might, just might, have some bearing on why occupations such as mechanic, electrician, and engineer have remained predominantly male.

The patriarchy: is there anything it can't do?

mockturtle said...

I haven't been a little girl for a very long time, and none of the girls I grew up with thought this way. And we've gotten way more "girl power-y" ever since.

Ditto, Maybee. Many of the 'smartest kids' in my classes were females. And many of them went into sciences and engineering. No one discouraged girls from high achievement nor did we consider ourselves in any way intellectually inferior to boys. There was, however, a greater interest among girls in raising a family, something that was given actual value back in the day.

pdug said...

It must be because of the gender segregation in schools. Like when we had black schools and white schools, little black girls preferred white dolls to black dolls.

So since girls think they are inferior in smarts it must be because they are in segregated all -girl schools


Henry said...

One of the follow-on tests was asking boys and girls whether they wanted to play a game that was for kids who were "really really smart" or who "try really really hard." Just that made me laugh. Hey kids, what game do you want to play? "Lots of Math" or "Memorize Proust"?

I did appreciate the researchers noting that five- and six-year-olds "are notoriously boastful about their abilities."

The researchers found it notable that gender differences are more pronounced among six-year-olds than five-year-olds.

What big life event separates these ages? Six-year-olds have been suffering through school. Biologically, boys are going to be suffering more in a sit-down, raise-your-hand environment.

So here's a question. If you don't like school, what's the easiest way to avoid it? Being really really smart or trying really really hard?

If it is school -- not home -- that is causing these gender stereotypes, what do the researchers suggest.

chuck said...

I've found the women who excel in traditionally male fields are not that different from the men who excel. Usually they developed an intense interest at an early age for engineering, gadgets, flying, etc., and pursued their passion. There just seem to be fewer women who have such interests.

Original Mike said...

Perhaps attitudes like this are explanatory:

Althouse said..."When the moon landing happened, I barely glanced at it on TV. I found it disgusting."

Lewis Wetzel said...

Why did this show up in a journal called Science? It's not science. Might be a good fit for People magazine.
This research is intended to justify sexism -- privileging one sex at the expense of the other sex.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

If the differentiation happens between age 5 and 6, shouldn't we blame kindergarten teachers? Round them up for reeducation.

David53 said...

Sample sizes of their four studies are ridiculously small. This is not science.

Study one examined the developmental trajectory of this stereotype in 96 children aged 5, 6, and 7 (32 children per age group; half boys, half girls). Children came mostly from middle-class backgrounds, and 75% were white.

In study two, we replicated our initial findings with a larger sample (144 children; 48 per age group). Children in this sample rated both adult and child targets. (Study one included only adult targets.)

In study three, we investigated whether children’s gendered beliefs about brilliance shape their interests. Sixty-four children aged 6 and 7 (half boys, half girls)

In study four, we compared 5- and 6-year-old boys’ and girls’ interest in novel games said to be “for children who are really, really smart” (96 children; 48 per age group; half boys, half girls).

chuck said...

Perhaps the subliminal message of modern feminism is that men are smarter than women? Sure seems that way to me.

Quaestor said...

Why did this show up in a journal called Science?

It means Western Civilization in more trouble than even the bleakest pessimist could imagine.

tcrosse said...

It's convenient to think of gender differences as a social construct because that admits the possibility of alleviating them. If some gender differences are biological, then we're stuck with them, which can be inconvenient.

David said...

What's wrong with my family? There are a lot of really smart females who know full well that they are and use their smarts to good ends.

Owen said...

I am no scientist and no statistician but I would urge those who are, to look at the article and opine on the quality of the research being reported, in particular whether these studies really started from a null hypothesis (that there is no gender difference) and used WELL-VALIDATED AND CALIBRATED METHODOLOGIES. Sorry to shout but I think it's important: the design of the experiments, the selection of the subjects, the wording of the questions, the likelihood of experimenter bias (and unconscious "nudging" of subjects), how exactly the subjects responded, etc etc etc --so many confounding factors could have been involved here. It is SOCIAL SCIENCE which is damned near an oxymoron, and for a small study (N=400, apparently in 4 studies of about 100 each, and broken down within studies to groups of 16 boys aged 5, 16 girls aged 5, 16 boys aged 6, etc) where really "soft" questions are being asked (not like collecting objective measures, such as blood pressure or presence of a biomarker), I really have to wonder at the power of the study to tell us something "real." It is too easy to make it into a Just So story.

Comments please.

mockturtle said...

Owen says: SOCIAL SCIENCE which is damned near an oxymoron

Whaddya mean 'damned near'? I've always believed they should be barred from using the term 'science' for their pretentious twaddle.

Bruce Hayden said...

What would be interesting to me is to find out how far these authors had progressed through various levels of mathematical abstraction. Did they get through algebra? Calculus? Or are they just blowing smoke out of their nether regions, talking about something they have no chance at understanding? When my kid was in maybe 1st and 2nd grade, there was one kid whom they couldn't beat in math. That was when the kids were learning their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables. They would have timed weekly contests to see who could do all the problems correctly, first, and my kid always came in 2nd. At conferences, the teacher told us not to worry - the kid who always won would start dropping back in 3rd or 4th grade. They were apparently excelling through use of their photographic memory, and not through real understanding of mathematics. And the teacher was correct, by 3rd or 4th grade, he had dropped to the middle of the class.

That got me thinking though about levels of mathematical abstraction. The next step after understanding how these basic functions work is maybe algebra. My partner (who has a photographic memory) did fine there, but never really understood the concept. She just memorized the equations, but never could understand why algebra is so important. The next step is probably calculus. I had my kid doing derivatives in maybe 7th grade - it just meant applying equations to equations. Then, there is a step in college where you have to abstract at another level. Every math dept has something like it, somewhere, typically your freshman or sophomore year, where you have to step up another level of abstraction. For us, it was linear algebra. For my kid, it was titled "Bridge to Higher Mathematics" (which they called "Bridge to Lower Self Esteem"). It is either easy or hard for you. If it was hard (even if you got an A in it, as my GF in college did), you shouldn't be a math (or physics) major. And definitely not expect to go to grad school in math or physics. Both my kid and me seemed to lose steam after that. By some time my junior year, maybe starting my senior year, math started to be hard. And, I knew that I needed to go in a different direction. Thing was, that there was always someone who got it. For whom it all made sense, and didn't have to work hard just to survive. Of course, by then, I had discovered computer programming, which was easy, and fun... And my first career.

If you ever watch "Big Bang Theory", you can get an idea about the sort of math required for advanced physics. It was, coincidentally where I was starting to have to work as a math major. I might have been in the top 1% or 2% in mathematical ability in my college graduating class, but I wasn't in the top .5%. I have taken graduate level physics classes, and done ok. But no reputable physics grad program was going to fund me, even if I had had my heart set on a physics career. I just didn't have the mental horsepower.

Sebastian said...

The following clams are not mutually exclusive:

1. Common stereotypes associate genius with men.

2. The IQ and other cognitive skill distributions of men and women differ, with the male tails being bigger/longer at both ends.

3. In many stereotypes, accuracy dominate bias. See Lee Jussim, Social perception and social reality : why accuracy dominates bias and self-fulfilling prophesy .

Mike Sylwester said...

... fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy)

A philosophy professor is sitting in his university office. Suddenly a boom is heard and a cloud of smoke fills the room. A genie appears and tells the philosophy professor that he can have one wish fulfilled -- either wisdom or a million dollars.

The philosophy professor thinks about the choice and then nods to the genie, who immediately disappears.

Then the philosophy professor exclaims: Oh, I should have chosen the money!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Original Mike said...
Perhaps attitudes like this are explanatory:

Althouse said..."When the moon landing happened, I barely glanced at it on TV. I found it disgusting."
1/27/17, 11:08 AM

Or "Fashion is more important than..."

Owen said...

Bruce Hayden: love your comments, both for the intelligence and honest self-appraisal. I would have been way down the curve in your math and physics class but I "get" your point. Math is a field where the abstraction layers keep stacking up. Many can climb the first few. Fewer can climb to the foothills or the lesser peaks. And for the Everests? A handful. I suspect the purpose of math education is to screen for those 6-sigma types (help them learn what they need, keep them interested, and flag them as worthy of further attention), even as it produces lots of valuable graduates who can use what they've learned in all sorts of other areas.

That screening process is much less relevant (or trustworthy) in areas like Race Theory or even Comparative Literature, where the judgments are inherently subjective and the agendas are often purely political. Bullshit is not merely sufficient to achieve greatness, a failure to spout (and absorb) bullsit may be fatal. Thus: bullshit prevails.

My theory, anyway.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy).

There is no academic field whose members don't "cherish brilliance." None. Not even the "X Studies" fields. Not even the various "Sports Management" or whatever courses of study designed to keep "student-athletes" nominally enrolled. People admire brilliance wherever they find it.

I find it interesting that the authors single out philosophy, when the first living philosopher to come to my mind is Martha Nussbaum.

As for physics ... well, I was a mechanical engineering major, so I had a couple semesters of physics, and did very well in them. (Not as well as chemistry, but then I had my parents' textbooks for help. I was nuts in those days -- wanted to take O-chem just for fun, despite the early start and the five-hour labs, and even considered transferring to chemical engineering, brutal though it was.)

Then I switched paths entirely, and studied musicology. You will not be surprised to learn that musicologists also "cherish brilliance."

Bruce Hayden said...

Thing is, they are testing the kids maybe a decade or more before anyone could know that they are capable of the sort of abstract thought required by these specialities. What good is it thinking that you are really, really smart in grade school, if you don't have the inherent mental ability to step up from maybe calculus to linear or abstract algebra? If you aren't going to understand calculus enough to understand relativity? You can maybe determine a subset who very likely aren't going to ever understand the subject matter at the required level of abstraction, but rarely the ones who actually be able to. There are a whole bunch of people who do great at algebra, but never really get calculus, and then there are a bunch who do well at calculus, who can't handle more abstract mathematics. You just don't know this when the kids haven't even learned algebra yet.

Original Mike said...

"These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy)."

"Cherish" is a strange word choice. "Required" is more like it.

SDaly said...

"However, little is known about the acquisition of this stereotype."

This is hilarious, they never even try to determine whether the stereotype is, in fact, based upon truth, they just completely skip over the whole underlying issue.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Girls do better in school. A majority of college graduates are female.

The lack of female high-level accomplishment in STEM could be related to lack of interest or lack of ability. When i worked in finance/budgets are best workers were women. But they needed "rules" or "policies" to follow. All the creative, 'thinking outside the box" approaches were done by the male workers.

We've had Female judges, and true its a small sample, but how many "brilliant" opinions have Ginsburg, O'connor, Kagan, Wise Latina written? And "The Law" is a field that is tailor made for women.

sparrow said...

Genetically men are the experimental half of the species. Because the y chromosome is uncomplemented by another gene copy mutations appear more frequently and in a more extreme form with only a single copy. Thus men exhibit a wider range of phenotypes having both more birth defects and more geniuses. Women are fundamentally more critical to species survival and therefore must be more stable. They also select which males will procreate. I think L. Sanders said something like this while at Harvard and caught a world of grief for it.

The modern problem is that ideal of moral equality has been replaced by an unrealizable ideal of precise equality in all things. Gone is the understanding of complementarity wherein the male-female pair (ideally in marriage) is understood to be a mutually supporting team able to function at a greater level than either one alone.

mockturtle said...

And "The Law" is a field that is tailor made for women.

As Portia in Merchant of Venice.

Smilin' Jack said...

Specifically, 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are 'really, really smart.'

Anyone who doesn't know how 6-year-olds acquire that belief never banged an el-ed major.

mockturtle said...

I've always admired great architecture but I can't think of even one great female architect. Perhaps I'm just uninformed [probably]. Men are more creative. More imaginative. There are exceptions but that is the rule. Women are more practical. Both traits are necessary for existence and achievement.

Eric Landgraf said...

BUT the science is settled....

tcrosse said...

And "The Law" is a field that is tailor made for women.
I'm thinking Judge Judy

Lydia said...

Aren't genius and risk-taking related? As well as testosterone and risk-taking?

David said...

" All the creative, 'thinking outside the box" approaches were done by the male workers."

All? Why was evaluating what was creative? Who was doing the hiring? What was driving creative females elsewhere?

Men can be such bitches.

n.n said...

The common stereotypes were correct in their frame of reference. This will change as more women discover a work-life balance, or with the progress of abortion rites, laboratory babies, and dodo dynasties.

JimT Utah said...

Given all that has been said here about bell-shaped curves, is there an evolutionary reason why females cluster closer to the mean? Perhaps more boy babies than girl babies are born to compensate for boys doing stupid stuff to impress girls that ends up making them dead. The ones that survive take the risks that result in progress. If girls habitually took the risks boys take, we'd run out of babies.

Jonathan Graehl said...

It's 4:1 male:female at very high (150+ IQ) levels.

That's still a lot of brilliant women who shouldn't be discouraged from trying to make an intellectual contribution (can you even discourage them? the hunger is pretty great when the mind is).

That leaves a lot of women who probably *should* be discouraged (because they don't have the desire or raw ability). When I hear these complaints, I wonder.

Owen said...

Jonathan Graehl: "It's 4:1 male:female at very high (150+ IQ) levels..."

That's what Larry Summers said.

Facts don't matter to these maenads.

Owen said...

Jonathan Graehl: "It's 4:1 male:female at very high (150+ IQ) levels..."

That's what Larry Summers said.

Facts don't matter to these maenads.

Michael K said...

even considered transferring to chemical engineering, brutal though it was.)

My high school girlfriend got her BS in Chemical Engineering. She went to Purdue and ended up marrying a guy in her class, who I also knew. They moved to California, she raised some kids, went back to work and worked in the space program for a while.

A few years ago, she was president of the Society of Women Engineers. We started college in 1956.

An awful lot of this stuff about women being held back is BS. They did face barriers in work but not in school.

Employers and medical school admissions committees did assume they would get married and have families and they do.

The Vault Dweller said...

While men and women have the same average intelligence, I believe that when looking at the distribution of IQ among each group, the male group has a higher standard deviation than the female group. That is to say if someone is really, really smart or really, really stupid that person is more likely to be a man. I wonder if they did an analysis on whether people who are really, really dumb are stereotypically expected to be men?

Also, men tend to take more risks than women. That might also contribute to an increase in 'highly brilliant' men Being highly successful and a game changer in any field is never simply a matter of sitting around cogitating and being smart. I'm sure taking risks can help anyone get noticed if it pays off.

Finally, I wonder if part of the perception is because people look for high intelligence and ability in men more than in women. While I don't subscribe to all of the idea of human nature being determined by ingrained mating behviors, I have noticed in my personal experience that men tend to care about how smart a woman is much less than women care about how smart a man is. High intellect might suggest some level of status or ability to provide which women find attractive, whereas men are more likely attracted to what you would expect in women.

The Vault Dweller said...

Hmmm, one of the pieces of evidence the study provides for stereotypes being ingrained into young girls about who is more likely to be smart is levels of expressed interest in games that are described as tuned for really, really smart people. Apparently as they age from 5 to 7 young girls show less and less interest in games like this.

The authors of the study talk about the idea this may be linked to something else about girls other than their perceptions regarding intelligence. They speculate it might be linked to some higher level of modesty found in girls than in boys, but then dismiss it saying that children are more boastful at that age, so it can't be modesty? Seems like the dismissal is on pretty thing ice.

Also, they didn't really consider the level of competitiveness and whether there is a difference in that between boys and girls of that age. It is one thing to have a certain perception of intelligence, it is another to test that publicly in a game with others where you might fail spectacularly demonstrate to everyone else who sees that you are not that smart. Even young boys might have a higher tolerance for this than young girls on average.

I suspect one of the reasons that it is men who more commonly approach and ask out women rather than vice-versa is because women have less of a tolerance for the possibility of rejection than men.

Erika Juhasz Nagy said...

Billions upon billions upon billions of data points throughout the history of man and a very small % humans are women who are called genius's or brilliant. As a statistician that's enough of a sample for me. QED.

Seeing Red said...

I also call Bullshit.

It's biology, morons!

Just like sports.

Seeing Red said...

OMG, gave they not paid attention to brain research?

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Generally most studies of this kind are bullshit.

Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test. A major investigation into scores of claims made in psychology research journals has delivered a bleak verdict on the state of the science.

An international team of experts repeated 100 experiments published in top psychology journals and found that they could reproduce only 36% of original findings.

The study, which saw 270 scientists repeat experiments on five continents, was launched by psychologists in the US in response to rising concerns over the reliability of psychology research.

In the investigation, a whopping 75% of the social psychology experiments were not replicated, meaning that the originally reported findings vanished when other scientists repeated the experiments. Half of the cognitive psychology studies failed the same test. Details are published in the journal Science.



Owen said...

Diogenes: yes. Ionnadis has done yeoman work on irreproducible results and more people are recognizing it as a deep problem. I just dug this out at random:

http://www.nature.com/news/reproducibility-1.17552

mockturtle said...

They speculate it might be linked to some higher level of modesty found in girls than in boys

Maybe back in the 19th century.

Rance Fasoldt said...

When I attended, Haverford College (Pennsylvania) was all-male. However, my major subject was located at Bryn Mawr College, so many of my classes were taken there, an all-female college then and now. Everyone was bright at both institutions, but all the women at BMC were much better prepared for their classes than the men in my Haverford classes. On the other hand, there was much more unprepared, random give-and-take in the Haverford classes. This was quite noticeable.

Owen said...

Rance Fasoldt: "... all the women at BMC were much better prepared..." Girls also write neater notes.

Smartest math student I ever knew was Arlene A. Nobody in our high school calculus course could match her.

Jameson Campaigne said...

Maybe, instead, because young boys are just, by nature, arrogant -- compared to girls, who have more common sense, at age 6, than do boys?

n.n said...

Lowered expectations is a progressive phenomenon caused by special and peculiar interests working to simultaneously destroy and support traditional standards. The inability to reconcile from a selective, opportunistic, unprincipled philosophy is a first-order cause of cognitive dissonance and dysfunctional convergence. The stereotypes are a symptom of their efforts to avoid discovery of principles that are internally, externally, and mutually consistent.