22 January 2006

Gender Differences in IQ--Still an Issue

Kevin at Intelligence Testing Blog reports on a new study of sex differences in IQ.

The new article that Kevin discusses is by Rojahn and Naglieri, is a study of 79,780 children, and is accessible here. The study utilised the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, which Kevin states is a measure of Gf (fluid intelligence). (This table is great, Kevin!)

The authors of the paper conclude:
NNAT data were consistent with Lynn’s developmental theory of gender differences insofar as (a) there were no gender differences between 6 and 9 years; (b) females scored slightly higher between 10 and 13 years; and (c) males were ahead of females between the ages of 15 and 16. However, the discrepancies between the genders were smaller than predicted by Lynn. In fact they were so small that they have little or no practical importance. In other words, the NNAT did not reveal meaningful gender differences at any stage between the ages of 6 and 17 years.

This study was somewhat in conflict with a study by Lynn in 2002, and a meta-analysis by Lynn et al in 2004. (see article citations) Read the article for more details.

This does not settle any issues that Larry Summers may have raised, but the fact that scientists are not afraid to look at this issue is a good thing. Thanks to Kevin for keeping an eye on the research.

But if you want to read something related to IQ group differences with a bit more controversy, try Steve Sailer's article on Steven Pinker's "dangerous idea" over at Edge.org. Dennis Dale at Untethered has related observations.

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