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Another gender myth killed off - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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May 30th, 2008

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02:04 pm - Another gender myth killed off
One of the most enduring gender myths is that men are better at spatial & math related tasks, and women are better at verbal & reading tasks. In addition to having seen no shortage of studies supporting this myth, I've also seen an equally large number of seriously flawed and ultimately ludicrous evolutionary psychology studies [[1]] that both supported this idea and came up with predictably lame arguments about why this must be true. However, I've recently seen this idea being questioned, and here's a fairly impressive study that completely disproves this idea. By looking at "results of maths and reading tests taken by more than 275,000 15-year-old students across 40 different countries", the conclusion was clear, the math disparity is due to sexism, and in nations where sexism has been greatly reduced (Sweden was the example given) there is no gender disparity in performance in math.

[[1]] Not that there are much in the way of evo psych studies that aren't seriously flawed

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
From the article:

What's more, the girls produced better reading scores than the boys in all the countries looked at, but did even better in countries with higher levels of gender equality.

It might disprove the maths bit, but it sounds like it confirmed the reading part?
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
Clearly that's worth looking at more closely, but I'd be equally surprised if some sort of social factors not directly associated with gendered discrimination isn't responsible. The number of possible cognitive gender differences continues to shrink.
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)


Evolutionary Psychology From a Female Chauvinist View

Hmmm...does that mean that women, as a gender, are naturally smarter than men?

According to evolutionary psychology, it would make sense, since women are the ones responsible for carrying, giving birth to, and being the primary caretakers for the next generation. It would only make sense that the female, with her superior brain, would have the sense to stay out of fights and not say "Hey yall, watch this!" while drinking 23 tequila fanny-bangers. After all, if women didn't have the sense to stay alive, there would be no next generation, since the children would have no one to look after them.

Men, on the other hand, are more expendable, since their part is over once they fertilize a woman. Therefore, they can run around doing dumb things, since they have been programmed by Nature to be more aggressive and not as bright anyway.
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2008 06:36 am (UTC)
I believe math was the last theoretical subject over here in school where males tended to get better grades than females, but that ended a few years ago. Now males just have better grades in sports, all the other subjects are female-led. Having worked in a few of the high-performance schools in the capital, the extent of female domination in the "best" classes is quite high. At least 2/3.

Which of course leads to another interesting question.

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