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Are Men Smarter Than Women? They Sure Seem to Think So

A new study says that men over-estimate their own intelligence and under-estimate the intelligence of women.
 
 
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Here's some news that will stun none of you:

Are men smarter than women? No. But they sure think they are. An analysis of some 30 studies by British researcher Adrian Furnham, a professor of psychology at University College London, shows that men and women are fairly equal overall in terms of IQ. But women, it seems, underestimate their own candlepower (and that of women in general), while men overestimate theirs.

Furnham studies perceived intelligence, and it unsurprisingly shows men overestimate their smarts and underestimate the smarts of women, and women do too. Furnham says, "Men are more confident about their IQ. These studies show that on average, women underestimate their IQ scores by about five points while men overestimate their own IQs. Since these studies were international in scope, the results were essentially the same whether women were from Argentina, America, Britain, Japan or Zimbabwe."

Does this surprise anyone? It shouldn't. Women in most societies spend their lives being told that they are simply not as capable as men, while men spend their lives being told that they are leaders and doers. Of course people think men are smarter than women. It's the definition of prejudice -- people buy into the notion that men are superior at everything except cleaning and taking care of the home and the kids. (Even that notion is meant not to buoy women, but to demean the very difficult and important job of cleaning and taking care of the home and the kids.) This feeds into our warped concepts of gender norms, and causes women and men alike to devalue the ability of women to compete in the workforce. Another big win for the patriarchy.

Jeff Fecke is a regular blogger for Shakesville.

 
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