Out of All Geniuses, Why Are So Few Female?
What is genius? It is an extraordinary level of skill and accomplishment which goes far beyond the commonplace. Genius refers to the ability to push human accomplishment beyond its present limits.
In an exhaustive historical study of human genius across a range of human endeavour from science to art: Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950, very few female geniuses made the lists.
Murray ranks the leading 4,000 innovators in several fields of human accomplishment from 800 BC to 1950. In each field Murray identifies a number of sources (leading encyclopedias, histories and surveys) providing information about the leading figures in the field. The rankings are made from information in these sources. A raw score is determined based on how many sources mention and on how much space in each source is devoted to a person. Then these raw scores are normalized so that the lowest score is 1 and the highest score is 100. The resulting scores are called "Index Scores".Women invariably come up short.
The same relative shortage of female genius is discovered in lists of science Nobel Prize winners, in lists of top mathematical prize winners, and in most any other objective and meritocratic measure of accomplishment where men and women are free to compete for the prize.
This gender disparity -- although real and enduring -- is far from politically correct. In the PC skankstream, the lack of parity cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged. A recent challenge to the reality of the gender imbalance in genius, comes from Scientific American -- once a science journal, but now largely a political organ of the skankstream:
For most of history women in the Western world were denied opportunities to seek higher education and develop their talents.A brief summary is available at the link, but most of the article is hidden behind a paywall.
The dearth of women at the top of their fields is now often the result of compromises made for the sake of family, rather than differences in ability.
Women who seek eminence face difficult choices regarding when to invest in their careers versus their personal lives. More cultural and institutional support for women could dispel the lingering gender disparities. _SciAm
While women have already surpassed men in overall achievement of college and graduate level degrees, something keeps them from matching men in proportionate numbers at the top levels in the fields which are very difficult to master.
Journolistic and pseudo-scientific skanks attempting to explain this female shortfall have a limitless bucket of excuses from which to draw. And they are never short of grand plans and schemes for "correcting" this disparity. But when the ultimate explanation for the shortage of female genius and grand female accomplishment is finally seen to rest at the biological level, the PC skankstream will have to take a different approach -- if it is to be taken seriously.
The biological explanation fits the data best of all -- although it is the least politically correct.
There is now a growing literature to suggest that, in addition to similarities between male and female brains, there are marked sex dimorphisms in brain morphology, neurochemistry, hard-wiring, and functional outcomes (De Vries and Boyle, 1998; Simerly, 2005; Cahill, 2006; Cosgrove et al., 2007). Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that estrogen can have different (sometimes opposite) effects as well as similar effects in male and female subjects, probably because of underlying brain dimorphisms that occur in some brain processes but not others.A large and growing body of scientific evidence describes significant statistical differences in the brain structure and function of males vs females. This "sexual dimorphism" of brain strucutre & function begins very early in development, and continues throughout childhood, receives a big boost in puberty, and generally carries on through adulthood and to the end of life.
... substantial evidence in humans and experimental animals documents sex differences in specific cognitive and behavioral tasks (De Vries, 2004; Cahill, 2006; Cosgrove et al., 2007). Whether males or females have the advantage depends on the task. For example, men generally outperform women on visuospatial tasks, quantitative tasks, and targeted motor skills, whereas women excel in verbal skill tasks, perceptual tasks, and fine motor skills... _Estrogen in the Brain (& Sexual Dimorphism)
It is no surprise that such significant statistical brain differences would result in significant statistical differences in behaviour and accomplishment. It is politically inconvenient to a radically feminised establishment inside government, academia, media, and popular culture, yes. But no surprise.
We will have to watch and see how many more tens (and now hundreds) of billions of dollars are wasted on the futile attempt to overcome the built in biological differences between the brains of men and women.
Meanwhile, boys of potential genius are being neglected by tax-supported institutions, because their potential does not fit the narrative.
If you have boy children and girl children, be sure to give each of them full opportunity to choose their own course in life -- without regard to political correctness. And be sure to make them as dangerous as they wish to be.
It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.