intelligent women, assortative mating (was Gender and Cognitive Style

Timothy Bates (
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 11:04:02 +1100

Hi Kathryn et al.,

>I just came back from a visit to New York with Harry Hawk and Perry Metzger,
>and thinking over our conversation, it wouldn't have been much different if
>I had a male gender. I am just as rational, just as IQ'd, just as capable
>of comprehending math, science, and philosophy as they are, and they were
>smart enough to realize that.

I do not doubt that for one moment. But, you are a single individual. That tells us that the distributions overlap extensively and perhaps even completely, not that they have equal means and SDs. Also, it doesn't necessarily tell us about how the algorithms of the mind are coded: merely that they are functionally equivalent for conversation purposes.

>My advice--stop wasting your time feeding
>into the social myth of gender intelligence differences and start
>interacting with more intellectual women.

Ahh, but that is the question: are there enough to go around ;-) Who does run the train company these days?

More seriously, when psychologists built IQ tests, they explicitly discarded items which gave a gender difference. Despite this selection, the male and female distributions have different SDs - if you see someone with an IQ <70 or >140 your best bet is to predict they are male as there are more males in the tails (of the distribution).

In the literature on relationships, the assortative mating for IQ is such that it predicts that people are as good as the WAIS-III at evaluating their partner's IQ: we marry people who are very similar in IQ to ourselves. Moreover, it is hard for people to be lead by or even to be friends with persons whose IQ more than 20 points above their own.

This predicts that high IQ women should be in extreme demand (fomr the excess of high IQ males). Unfortunately, that other male trait (dominance) comes in, especially in non-Western cultures. For instance in Singapore, they were finding considerable reluctance among men to marry highly educated women. To many "i told you so's" apparently.

Ahh. life. It is just one damn thing after another.


PS: I agree we could usefully change to another topic.

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another, without helping himself."

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Dr Timothy Bates
School of Behavioural Sciences
Macquarie University
Sydney NSW 2109
fax 61 2 9850 8062
ph 61 2 9850 8623
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