Men are more intelligent, professor says
By Sarah Cassidy
Men are more likely to win Nobel prizes and achieve excellence simply because they are more intelligent than women, according to a controversial male professor.
In a paper to be published in a leading research journal, one of Britain's most outspoken academics will argue that men have larger brains and higher IQs than women, to such an extent that they are better suited to "tasks of high complexity".
Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at Ulster University, will publish the work with Paul Irwing, senior lecturer in organisational psychology at Manchester University.
The study, due to be published in the British Journal of Psychology in November, concluded that men not only have larger brains but also have higher IQs, on average by about five points, than women.
This difference means that many more men than women have exceptionally high IQs and the authors claim that this means that men are more likely to win Nobel prizes and make scientific discoveries, according to The Times Higher Education Supplement.
Dr Irwing said that he had initially been reluctant to take part in the study, arguing that he would have personally preferred not to have discovered that men had a biological advantage.
"I came from a perspective that I would like to believe that all people, whether men or women, were equal in potential achievement," he said.
But he said that after resolving to put "scientific truth" above his personal political conflicts and potentially even his academic reputation, he had agreed to work with Lynn.
The paper will seek to counter the academic orthodoxy that men and women are basically the same and that any sex differences are due to pressure from society to conform to gender stereotypes.
Lynn, who has been publishing research claiming the superiority of men since 1994, has argued that his attempt to overturn the widely held view that men and women are equally intelligent is like Galileo trying to explain to 17th century Italy that the earth revolved around the sun.
"A consensus paradigm is not easily overthrown no matter how strong the evidence against it, as Galileo famously found, so I have not been surprised to find people are still asserting that there is no sex difference in intelligence," he said.
"However, some of those who have examined the evidence have begun to accept my conclusion."
Most 20th century studies into gender differences had concluded that there was no difference in the average IQ scores of men and women.
Those academics who acknowledged a difference have argued that it is too small to be significant, or "not worth speaking of".
Irwing said: "We do not think that a five IQ point difference can be so easily dismissed."
He said that this difference had a major impact for people with the highest IQs and meant that there was a much higher proportion of men than women at this level. He said there were three men to each woman with an IQ above 130 and 5,5 men for each woman with an IQ above 145.
"These different proportions of men and women with high IQ scores are clearly worth speaking of and may go some way to explaining the greater numbers of men achieving distinctions of various kinds for which a high IQ is required, such as chess grandmasters, Nobel prizewinners and the like," he said. – The Independent
* This article was originally published on page 2 of The Pretoria News on August 25, 2005