Andrew Denholm, Herald (Glasgow), Aug. 25
Men have larger brains — and higher IQs — than women, according to a controversial new study.
In a paper for the British Journal of Psychology, which is bound to reignite the academic row about gender differences, one of Britain’s most controversial academics argues that men are more likely than women to win Nobel prizes and gain academic distinction because they are more intelligent.
Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at Ulster University, who has caused outrage in the past with claims that white people are more intelligent than blacks and that criminal traits are genetic, will publish the work with Paul Irwing, senior lecturer in organisational psychology at Manchester University.
Professor Lynn believes that the differences between the sexes make men better suited to “tasks of high complexity” than their female counterparts.
Dr Irwing told The Times Higher Education Supplement that he would prefer it if their research was wrong. However, after resolving to put “scientific truth” above his personal views, he said he had concluded that there was a very strong case that men not only had larger brains, but had a higher IQ, by about five points, compared with women.
The paper will argue that, while many academics have denied any IQ difference, those who have acknowledged a difference have argued that it is too small to be significant.
Dr Irwing said: “We do not think that a five IQ point difference can be so easily dismissed.”
He said that the difference meant there was a much higher proportion of men with higher IQs, with three men to each woman with an IQ above 130 and 5.5 men for each woman with an IQ above 145.
“These different proportions of men and women with high IQ scores are clearly worth speaking of and may go some way to explaining the greater numbers of men achieving distinctions of various kinds for which a high IQ is required, such as chess grandmasters, Fields medallists for mathematics, Nobel prizewinners and the like,” he said.
The researchers acknowledge that women now outnumber men at every level of educational achievement, with the sole exception of PhD level, and conclude that the IQ difference cannot sufficiently explain gender inequalities in the workplace — where men still grossly outnumber women at the highest levels.
The paper will argue that there is evidence that at the same level of IQ women are able to “achieve more” than men, “possibly because they are more conscientious and better adapted to sustained periods of hard work”. And it will cite a previous study has concluded that IQs in the region of 125 are adequate to “ascend to all levels in the labour market”.
“The small male advantage in IQ is, therefore, likely to be of most significance for tasks of high complexity,” said Dr Irwing.
Professor Lynn has been accused of racism over his theories and has also been criticised for receiving funding from the New York-based Pioneer Fund, which was said to have had Nazi connections in the 1930s.
He also forecast that genetic engineering combined with natural trends would turn the advanced and the developing countries into two worlds — one a stable, rich society of intelligent individuals, the other populated by people of low IQ and beset by poverty and famine.
1 Three swans and one cat have a total of 11 legs. True or False?
2 If you hang an ordinary wall clock upside down when the time is 3.30pm, the hour hand will point right. True or False?
3 You get 10 pieces of cake by making five diagonal cuts through its centre. True or False?
4 If Marc is taller than Nick and Craig is shorter than Marc, Marc is the tallest. True or False?
5 Three of the following numbers add up to 29: 15, 12, 6, 3, 1.
True or False?
5 correct = Superior intelligence
4 correct = Normal intelligence
3 correct = Dullness
2 correct = Borderline deficiency
1 correct = Feeble-mindedness