Sex and IQ

(Note: I’m so embarrassed. In the original posting, I repeatedly wrote “median” IQ when I meant “mean” IQ. It’s all the fault of the darn whether.)

What would you think of this story if you saw it posted at the New York Daily News, the UK Telegraph, and in every newspaper and mainstream news website?

Blacks really have better IQ than whites
Sunday, July 15th 2012

London, July 15—Whites may now need to think twice before questioning blacks’ intelligence, whether in the football field, the classroom, or the office. Psychologists have found that black IQ scores have risen above whites’ for the first time in a hundred years.

Blacks have been as much as 15 points behind whites since testing commenced a century ago but that gap has narrowed in recent times. This year blacks finally came out on top. It may be because they are better at “alternative intelligences” such as running away from the white racist police and making their way through a white racist society. The breakthrough has been uncovered by James Flynn, the world-renowned authority on IQ tests.

According to Flynn, in the last 100 years the IQ scores of both whites and blacks have risen but blacks’ have risen faster. This is a consequence of modernity.

“The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ. The full effect of modernity on blacks is only just emerging.”

One theory is that blacks’ ability to multitask as they juggle crime-and-drug infested neighborhoods and the white racist culture and workplace, while another explanation is that blacks are finally realising they have a slightly higher potential intelligence than whites.

Flynn will publish his findings in a new book, but said more data was needed to explain the trend because tests have consistently shown differences between gender and race.

If you read this story, would you believe it? Not likely, right? You’d say to yourself that this is just another liberal lie.

But how many conservatives believed the story that did actually appear yesterday everywhere on the Web (of which the above story is my satiric paraphrase), claiming that women now surpass men in IQ? I’ll bet many or most. Yes, the claim that females now surpass men in IQ is not as baldly absurd as the claim that blacks now surpass whites in IQ, but that’s no excuse for believing the former. Virtually everything that now appears in the mainstream media about any issue related to equality, particularly race and sex equality, is a lie. We need to know that in advance and be on guard.

In this case, the original story seems to have come from the Daily Mail. The Mail article in its headline and lead paragraphs bubbles excitedly that “For the first time in IQ testing, psychologists have found that female scores have risen above those of men,” accompanied by a photo of a triumphant, pretty young white woman and a troubled-looking, middle-aged white man. But, as Laura Wood discovered (and as Steve Sailer, the expected expert on such subjects, did not bother discovering), if you read to the end of the article, you find out that this is not the case at all:

[James Flynn] collated IQ examination results from countries in western Europe and from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina and Estonia.

These showed that in westernised 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.

So, the female IQ superiority over men, uncritically parroted over the whole world, turns out to be a marginal superiority in three countries, two of them very small countries.

Meanwhile, as Laura Wood also pointed out, it was only the Daily Mail which admitted (but only at the very end of its article) the truth that the new finding was only in three countries. All the other articles I’ve checked out, from the UK Telegraph, the New York Daily News (whose article I linked and paraphrased at the beginning of this entry), CBS News, presented only the lie, consisting of the general, unqualified statement that women are now smarter than men.

The concealment of the fact that the finding only obtained in three countries was not the only lie in the “study” and the reporting of the “study.” As Laura points out in another entry:

Flynn revealed to ABC news that his studies, which took place in Estonia, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, involved girls and boys between the ages of 15 and 18. Psychologists have noted for years that adolescent girls develop faster than boys and complete puberty earlier.

And by the way, the title of that ABC News article is:

Women Beat Men on IQ
Tests for First Time

An accurate headline would have said:

Among 15-18 Year Olds in Three Countries,
Girls Have Slightly Higher IQs Than Boys

Not so exciting, huh? It’s sort of like finding out that the Higgs boson, far from supposedly accounting for all the matter in the universe, instead supposedly accounts for, at most, one 2,000th of the matter in the universe.

Another thing: if you had asked me before this story came out what the male-female IQ differential was, I would have answered that in my understanding the sexes have the same mean IQ, but that men significantly outnumber women at both the high end and the low end of the bell curve, a function of the fact that the standard deviation for male IQ is larger than the female standard deviation; in other words, females are more bunched around the mean (a fact that also corresponds to common sense observation, with regard not only to intelligence but to various behavioral factors). So I don’t know where this notion of male superiority in IQ, which this new finding is supposedly overthrowing, comes from. Furthermore, the idea that men outnumber women, even if just at the higher reaches of math IQ, has NEVER been published in the mainstream media. Indeed, that idea is so “not there,” and so prohibited, that Lawrence Summers was fired as president of Harvard for merely suggesting that it was possible. (Correction: evidently the scientific consensus is that there is a small superiority of mean male IQ over mean female IQ; see Leonard D.’s comment below.)

So, the media have remained absolutely silent about the higher representation of men at the upper reaches of math and science ability, a fact that explains why there are far fewer female mathematicians and scientists (i.e., the differential is not due to anti-female discrimination); yet the moment there was some specious report that women have higher average IQs than men, the entire Western media belched it forth, and the whole culture, including millions of conservatives, now accepts it as true.

Never forget: The modern liberal regime is in certain key respects as evil, anti-human, and dishonest as the former U.S.S.R. A conservative who does not realize this, but instead automatically falls for every lie coming from the liberal media, is still in conservative kindergarten.

- end of initial entry -

Leonard D. writes:

You wrote:

If you had asked me before this story came out what the male-female IQ differential was, I would have answered that in my understanding the sexes have the same mean IQ, but that men significantly outnumber women at both the high end and the low end of the bell curve …

Although your statement is more accurate than the politically correct view of things, there is substantial evidence that men average a few points higher than women do (the number I recall is 3 points), whereas there is little evidence of the reverse, this latest “study” notwithstanding. All of this evidence can be found in the same places that racial differences in IQ are, and is not known or discussed outside of psychometry for the same reasons.

This is yet another truth (assuming it is true), that our forebears knew as a matter of common knowledge, that we know not. The endarkenment continues.

LA replies:

“The endarkenment continues.”

Indeed. And in both senses of the word.

Mike B. writes:

I saw that story reported on Fox News, with no mention of the details you provide in your article.

July 17

Sex and IQ MS writes:

You mention “the higher representation of men at the upper reaches of math and science ability, a fact that explains why there are far fewer female mathematicians and scientists.” I have a Ph.D. in philosophy, and I can attest that the same female underrepresentation exists there too. The reason, of course, is the persistence of patriarchal hegemony and institutionalized sexism, despite the great efforts of most major departments to attract and retain more women.

It should be well-known that philosophy requires both high language and high analytical thinking skills. People who get accepted into graduate programs in philosophy consistently have GRE scores in the upper reaches of both categories, unlike every other field. They tend to have the highest scores on the verbal portion, and higher scores on the math portion than any of the other humanities, according to this chart. Again, total scores in philosophy tend to be higher than all the non-math-and-science specialties, according to this one.

The reason for this is that although it usually uses words instead of symbols, philosophy tends to be highly abstract and difficult, in many ways more abstract and difficult than pure mathematics or physics. Someone who can do well in English or Political Science or Psychology might be totally unable to handle formal logic or metaphysics. Now the unfortunate fact is that, in over ten years in several philosophy departments, I have never seen a woman who excelled in formal logic or metaphysics. Women are a minority there, but almost without exception all of them are in the “softer” subspecialties like ethics (for the sane women) or philosophy of race/class/gender (for the less sane ones). They’re not apologetic about it either. I’ll never forget an episode back as a graduate student when I tried to discuss Kant’s epistemology with a female fellow student only to have her admit that she’d never really understood all that, didn’t care to try, and didn’t think it was very important. I’ve had a number of similar encounters. This seems to be the rule: the more abstract and formal the subject matter or argument, the less likely it will be that a woman philosopher will be engaged in it.

This is the truth that dare not speak its name in academic departments—at least I dare not. I’ve hinted around it a few times, to instant outrage. I’m not saying, and would never say, that a woman can’t make a fine philosopher. I’m also not saying that no woman could be a great logician or metaphysician, but simply that it happens so rarely that I haven’t come across it, despite having a number of female friends in the field. Women, with their naturally practical and concrete habits of mind, just tend not to gravitate towards highly abstruse and abstract reasoning, even if they are highly intelligent in other ways. My wife, a physician, is very intelligent; we seem to have similar IQs and when we took the GREs together we got similar scores on the verbal portion; but my math score was about 30 points higher than hers, and I would never have described myself as particularly mathematically inclined.

By the way, the possibility of occasionally making comments like this is one reason I would never use my full name on your site.

Dan K. writes:

Among whites, male mean IQ is circa five points higher than female mean IQ according to H. Nyborg. He was put through hell for his research.

Here is the chapter on MALE—FEMALE IQ (Chapter 10) from The Scientific Study of General Intelligence: Tribute to Arthur Jensen, by Helmuth Nyborg (Jul 25, 2003).

About which Wikipedia says: “The reported male-female IQ difference in Nyborg’s work is about eight points. According to Rushton, his own research points to an IQ difference of 3.63, and the committees’ analysis of Nyborg’s data would imply a difference 4.55.”

KG writes

The “women are smarter than men” trope is necessary to justify the plan to apply Title IX to science and math education departments. After all, now that it’s been “proven” that women are actually smarter than men, only discrimination can explain their “under-representation” in science and technology programs. Watch for this new study to be introduced into legal arguments if anyone sues over applying Title IX to such collegiate programs.

Marek G. writes:

For me, this story had more of an ominous meaning. It suggests that perhaps making public education comfortable for girls (and, consequently, not optimal for boys) is finally reaping rewards.

Even if innate IQ is the same as always, it still takes some nurture to make it useful; even the ability to concentrate long enough to actually take a test is not necessarily a given, and not necessarily a straight function of IQ. If the public education systems in the three countries (and others) do not promote or reward boys, but do promote and reward girls, then boys may never learn the skills necessary to showcase their IQ. I have no idea if the above is actually happening, but I would not be surprised if it did. After all, if one can imagine a reporter gushing over a story that purports to show higher female IQ, one can just as easily imagine school teachers gushing over the accomplishments of their female students while all but ignoring the boys, with the resultant engagement of the girls and disengagement of the boys (on average, other things being equal, etc.).

Diana M. writes:

“It’s all the fault of the darn whether.”

Is this a Freudian slip or did you mean to write the above?

LA replies:

I meant to write it like that.

Paul K. writes:

You wrote, “[T]he idea that men outnumber women, even if just at the higher reaches of math IQ, has NEVER been published in the mainstream media.”

This reminds me of G.K. Chesterton’s famous line: “Journalism largely consists in saying ‘Lord Jones is dead’ to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.” But today, journalism largely consists of saying, “Women have higher IQs than men!” to readers to whom it had never been suggested that group differences in IQ even exist. It consists of the New York Times saying that John Edwards acknowledges fathering a child with his mistress, to readers it had never told that John Edwards had a mistress or that she was pregnant. It consists of NBC News telling viewers that Eric Holder has been charged with contempt of Congress, without ever having told them about the Fast and Furious scandal.

In other words, on topics that challenge the liberal worldview, journalism sees its role as keeping people in the dark rather than enlightening them. The Endarkenment indeed!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 16, 2012 04:52 PM | Send

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