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Gender Differences in Intelligence - Essay Example

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Gender Differences in Intelligence

Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings-"catching on", "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do. (p.13)
The complex factors that affect intelligence have fascinated researchers over the years, with the belief that gender plays a significant role in cognitive abilities. In an effort to settle controversies concerning gender and intelligence, empirical researches in the fields of psychology and learning have made attempts to identify how the two sexes perform in certain cognitive tasks. Based on the results of the standardized measures in cognitive batteries, increasing evidence from various studies confirm that men's functioning and women's functioning are in fact different. A study conducted by Jackson and Rushton (2005) investigated the sex differences in general mental ability. A Scholastic Assessment Test was given to 100,000 high school graduates where results showed that the male samples performed better with an average IQ score of 3.63 higher than the females. This finding was consistent with other factors across groups such as gender differences in general mental ability for participants from different socioeconomic levels and ethnic groups. Likewise, the British Journal of Psychology published the findings of a study made by Lyn and Irwing (2005) on a big sample of university men and women. The controversial research that aroused public attention indicated that based on IQ, men's average scores were higher between 3.3 and 5.0 than women. While outcomes of these research studies have favored the male sample, results of other studies revealed that although both male and females vary on average in how competently they function on different skill tests, cognitive skills are actually equally distributed between them (Halpern, D.,Benbow, C., Geary, D., Gur, R., Hyde, J., and Gernsbacher,M., 2007). For instance, women are likely to achieve higher scores on specific verbal and memory tests (Lund, FH, 1932; Stroud, JB. and Lindquist, EF. 1942), while men are likely to achieve higher scores on mathematical and spatial tests, mostly mental spatial rotations (University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center as cited in ScienceDaily, 1999). In a certain study, responses of Dutch and Belgian children on the Dutch WISC-R were analyzed. Results noted significant score differences between genders (van der Sluis, et al., 2008). Based on the results of the subtests, the girls performed better in Coding while the boys performed better in Information and Arithmetic, These results were constant for both Dutch and Belgian samples. Another study observed a similar pattern, emphasizing significant differences in the mental functions between sexes. An achievement test given to grade school children noted that the boys surpassed the girls in subtests that measure arithmetic ability , whereas the girls outperformed the boys in measures of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and basic language skills (Stroud, JB. and Lindquist, EF. 1942). Exploring the Biological Factors As supported by literature, men and women have different brain structures, hence the differences in brain functions. Evidence suggests biological factors affecting cognitive performance. An increasing number of studies found important distinction in the volume of gray and white matter in the brains of men and women, signifying that men and women may obtain their intelligence in ...Show more

Summary

The study of human intelligence has captured the attention of many psychologists. One of the popular definitions of intelligence was published in the Intelligence Journal. According to 52 intelligence experts who signed the Mainstream of Science on Intelligence in 1994,
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Gender Differences in Intelligence essay example
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