Thursday, May 19, 2016

Men, women, and intelligence

An NRx purist was having a hissy fit on Twitter over my statement that on average, men and women are of roughly equal intelligence, with men being both more intelligent on the high end and less intelligent on the low end.  He cited this chart, which I've posted previously here on Alpha Game.

However, he clearly didn't understand either what I was saying or the chart, which is rather ironic considering his supposedly superior male intelligence. These numbers are cumulative. Which means that in order to get an accurate snapshot at a given range, one needs to subtract both the higher and the lower levels.

Here was my actual response to Louise's question:
Louise: Do you think that women as a group are less intelligent than men?

Vox: On average, no. At both ends of the bell curve … At the high end of the bell curve, women are less intelligent than men, but in the middle they’re about the same, and at the low end, they’re more intelligent than men.

So, let's look at the average IQ range, which here is 90 to 110. For women, that is a population of 40,006,230 - 13,152,863, or 26,853,367. For men, that is 24,938,369. There are 1,914,998 more women in the average intelligence range than men, and all 26.8 million of them are more intelligent than the roughly 10 million men with sub-90 IQs while being just as intelligent as their 25 million male counterparts.

This is far more relevant to the experience of the average man or the average woman than either the 2 percent difference in IQ mean or how they happen to relate to a relatively rare +3-4 SD outlier such as me.

While it would have been more precise to say that most women are as intelligent as most men in the normal -1 SD to +1 SD range, the fact that I pointed out the bell curve distribution and the male advantage on the right side of it is sufficient to indicate that I was not watering anything down for fear of Louise Mensche's disapproval.


Ahazuerus said...

"on average, roughly equal", and having means of 101 and 103 respectively, are equivalent descriptions to me.

Your additional comment about the fatter male ends of the curve, is completely borne out by the data shown.

What the hell was his problem? That you didn't place them as exactly the same?

VD said...

What the hell was his problem? That you didn't place them as exactly the same?

That I didn't leap to unilaterally declare that men are always smarter than women.

intuitivereason said...

Not sure why this dipwad is getting lumped in with neoreaction. I may have missed something in my scan back his timeline, but doesn't look like one of ours and isn't known to me. Seems to be more WN in interaction.

Mister Jorge said...

Feminists are now blaming transgenderism on the patriarchy.

MisesMat said...

Hey Vox!

I'm actually really interested in IQ differences between men and women. Chalres Murray and Richard Herinstein give the same answer you do in "The Bell Curve." However, I seen where Helmuth Nyborg, Richard Lynn and Philipe J. Rushton all challenged this and said that they all conducted experiments on men and found the average male IQ to be about 104.6 and the average woman to be about 100. Have you looked into that?

Just curious what you're thoughts are on their work.


Verne said...

I doubt that most of us, who are just a little bit observant in life. That we have not noticed, that there are far fewer woman who are so stupid that you wonder how they remember to breath. Than there are men who are that stupid.

But among the extremely bright and even those who like me are like a just a bit brighter than most. Lets admit that its a good thing we are visual creatures. We will take beauty and a winning way over intellect every time. If I only dated my intellectual equals. There is a good chance that I would not have children and grand children today. And my IQ is only 130.

Nate said...

men on the low end of the socio-sexual spectrum tend to hate women. Much of the NRx is made up of men on the low end of the socio-sexual spectrum.

This guy's rage wreaks of omega that can't get laid.

Tim Gilbert said...

A simpler way to communicate the idea is that the bell distribution curve of women's intelligence is narrower.

VFM #7634 said...

It would indicate that there are important intelligence genes on the X chromosome. Because women have two, they will be averaged out more. (Of course, this also means that you shouldn't pick an airhead wife if you don't want stupid sons.)

I do wonder what accounts for the male average being slightly higher. Higher mastery of logic / lower susceptibility to being muddled by emotions would be my guess.

B.J. said...

Hey Vox,

This is something Turd Flinging Monkey on youtube has commented on a lot. It turns out a lot of the data for male and female intelligence is gathered at age 10 to age 15. These are ages when girls have a developmental advantage over boys because their brains develop quicker, while men's develop longer.

Essentially, women's intelligence level peaks in their teens while men's continues to grow into their 20s. It explains why young girls seem more mature than young boys while adult women appear to be perpetual teenagers.

Not saying this proves you wrong but it helps to know where the IQ level data actually came from.

Ahazuerus said...


It could be as simple as men spending more time at work. There is some evidence that IQ is not a pure measure of innate ability but also includes learned behaviors.
So spending more time at work, as men do, would contribute both to being more emotionally disciplined, and to having had to learn more rigorous thinking habits because Real World ...

Not saying that's the cause, or even a cause, just noting the possibility.

Aeoli Pera said...

I don't even understand the confusion here.

@BJ, this difference in developmental trajectories had interesting impacts as early as Terman's studies, where they assigned IQs of 200 (!!!) to a few girls.

The "ratio IQ" concept is useless for this reason, and is the source of much silliness.

Aeoli Pera said...

doubt that most of us, who are just a little bit observant in life. That we have not noticed, that there are far fewer woman who are so stupid that you wonder how they remember to breath. Than there are men who are that stupid.

I met one last night who was operating a motorized pallet jack with a busted passive safety brake (it'll fly out of control if you lose hold of the handle). He was unable to understand my direction when I explained that pallets ago against a particular wall, not in the middle of the floor. Dude is an industrial accident waiting to happen.

timothympollard said...

Obviously that Twitter user was rather silly to use that chart in support of his claim that men are more intelligent all round, but it should be noted that the differences at the lower end are much less significant. The under 70 range has 572,494 and 511,123, or a ratio of 1.12, while the over 130 range has 1,602,641 males and 871,538 females, or a ratio of 1.839.

Also apparently it can vary depending on the test you're using:

(Though the result is still essentially that men will dominate the top end, but the differences at the normal levels of intelligence are small enough not to matter, the variance is only in the results for the lower end)

Timmy3 said...

But math is hard.

savantissimo said...

Any cite for this study? It appears to be just as simulation. Sample size 100M? Exactly 50M of each sex? IQs above 160 when that is the highest hard ceiling for any widely-used IQ test?

The sex ratios at high IQs seem to be underestimated. In the 1 in 1000 and up IQ societies the ratio seems to be about 10 to 1.

Passer by said...

There are plenty of indirect indicators showing that males have higher average IQ.
1 Brain Size is correlated with IQ
2 Height is correlated with IQ
3 Reaction time is correlated with IQ
4 Nerve Conduction Velocity is correlated with IQ
5 Time perception is correlated with IQ
Men have advantage in all of those.

savantissimo said...

Your wretched system ate my comment, and I'm not retyping. See Nyborg 2005 Nyborg 2005 p. 10 chart, rt. axis.
Man : woman ratio:
1:1 @ IQ 103
2:1 @ IQ 120
4:1 @ IQ 133
8:1 @ IQ 145

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