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Women Are More Intelligent Than Men

Published September 3, 2012 6:30 PM by Glen McDaniel

Did you know that women are more intelligent than men? OK, so the claim is a little controversial and needs some explanation. 

Several recent studies have claimed that women now tend to have higher intelligence quotient (IQ) than men. It seems that for the first time women are scoring higher than men on traditional IQ tests.

For many years intelligence tests have been used as a benchmark of how individuals reason, learn, assimilate data and make decisions.  IQ has been used to predict things like scholastic performance

Experts always point out that IQ tests do not necessarily indicate who is closest to being a genius. Even the term "intelligence" is difficult to define, but it does say something about the ability to learn, reason and adapt.

For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of college graduates are women; and they also tend to have more advanced degrees. In addition more women than men are successfully juggling the responsibilities of full time job and family.

Casual observation shows that women tend to be able to color outside the lines, to multitask and to adapt. These qualities are not unique to women, certainly, but they tend to be more obvious, accepted and acceptable in women. Coincidentally, aren't these same qualities necessary for success in our personal and professional lives?

These studies make for interesting reading and conjecture, but the bigger take-away is that while some survival skills come easier to some than others, those skills can certainly be learned by anyone.

3 comments

Scott:

Thanks for weighing in. You know, my own IQ has increased from around 126 when I was in my thirties to around 131-132 when it was tested sequentially about a year ago. I was pretty philosophical about the number. I am not sure whether I have gotten better with age (like fine wine); I have learned some test-taking tricks or something else. Is that number even accurate?

I am glad you mention plasticity. I think the really valuable skill is being able to change and adapt. Whoever can look at "reality" in various ways and make the decision not to be devastated or destroyed by stressful change will be more successful.

I have a real interest in Emotional Intelligence/Quotient (EI/EQ), a measure that doesn't always track with IQ. It has more to do with factors like resilience, self awareness, the ability to manage your emotions and the ability to manage relationships. In many ways, this is far more important than IQ in my book.

It's the flexibility, ability to think critically and the choice to be resilient (even when it's difficult) that will be the most valuable skills for the laboratorian.

Glen McDaniel September 8, 2012 1:51 PM

Interesting post, Glen.  I saw this somewhere, too.

Are we testing for what we expect to find?  Or is this a "Wobegon effect?"  I wonder.

I read recently that IQ can change as we age, so presumably we are measuring the brain's plasticity.  How do you suppose this translates into a workplace like the laboratory, in which critical thinking skills are applied each day?

Scott Warner September 5, 2012 6:26 AM

I always said that women tend to use both parts of their brain. They will use logical reasoning but are also more likley to go with their gut as well. I think it's the ability to use both parts of the brain that makes you really intelligent.

Cherise Thompson September 5, 2012 12:32 AM
Denver CO

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