Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Are Women Smarter Than Men?

The gender gap in politics continues, and the difference between boys and girls in school continues to arouse interest in the media. And it is true that girls do better in school than boys and women are less likely to support the right-wing (i.e. the Stupid Party) than men. This would seem to indicate that women are smarter than men.

But I explain the political gender gap thusly;

The right-wing (1) is the war party, and youth, the children born of women are its chief victims.

The right-wing takes the short-term view, ie the quarterly profit rate, the next election – whereas women are more likely to think in terms of the life times of their children and grandchildren. And for women who do not have or want to have children, this attitude is still part of "women's culture."

The right-wing is highly ideological and willing to sacrifice large sections of the population in imposing its world view. Women and children are the chief victims of this sociopathology.

The right-wing seeks to destroy social services and throw the weaker and poorer sections of the populace to the dogs. Women, because of their historical disadvantage in terms of income and the plight of single mothers, are more likely to support such services, both out of self-interest and compassion grown of experience.

Impulsiveness and lack of empathy are two of the chief emotional characteristics of criminals. Around 90% of genuine criminals (2) are male and the vast majority of them are young. Young men, in particular, are noted for their impulsiveness.

Lack of empathy is also one of the chief characteristics of right-wingers.

An impulsive person is one who fails to take the long-term view and to take into account all the ramifications of his actions. In essence he does not think, chief characteristic of stupidity. As before mentioned, the short-term view is the one favored by righists. As well they fail to see connections, everything is seen in isolation. As well, a "black and white" world view. The latter is also an aspect of stupidity.

I would say that women are not necessarily "smarter" than men, but they are certainly a damn sight wiser, since wisdom consists largely of taking the long view and of attempting to see all the ramifications of one's actions. I would also say that in the end wisdom is the more important form of intelligence than the ability to manipulate facts and figures.

On the other hand, I am suspicious of the data that "proves" boys do more poorly in school or that boys are somehow innately less likely to read or take an interest in learning. Gender role specification starts at birth. As well, testosterone automatically will make boys more aggressive (and thus more impulsive, immature and as generations of ten year old girls will tell you, "stoopid!") Yet, rather than seeking to offset this biological tendency, the traditional patriarchal upbringing does the opposite. If a boy is rude, violent, destructive, obnoxious, these traits are dismissed as "just being a boy." Patriarchal upbringing tends to downgrade "intellectual" interests, good manners, non-violence and empathy as effeminate – the female being inferior, of course. Girls on the other hand, who because of patriarchy could do with some aggressiveness, are sat upon. Historically, this has resulted in neurosis among women and sociopathology among men.

Some boys certainly do shun books or do more poorly in class than girls. But these are boys raised in more traditional patriarchal ways. Boys raised by counter-cultural parents or the liberal educated professional classes, are no more likely to do poorly in school or reject "intellectual" activities than girls. Nor do they turn to delinquency. Indeed, you can virtually guarantee that a boy who reads a lot will not take up mugging old ladies as a pastime. (Though he might become a pacifist, a socialist or an anarchist, a worse fate in the eyes of the reactionaries.)

Attempts to improve boys standing in school by introducing male-only classes and "boy-oriented education" are simply attempts to re-introduce patriarchy by the back door and should be fought and defeated.

1."Right wing" does not refer to either "red" Tories or genuine free market libertarians. It refers to the right-wing nanny state, pro-corporate, pro-war, socially reactionary, authoritarian right, such as Bushites, Harpocrits, fundi theocrats, neo-liberals, neocons, etc and their brown shirt kissin' cousins.

2. Prostitution is a moral issue, not a criminal one, drug addiction is a medical problem, not a criminal one. Addicts steal to pay for their drugs, but would not if they could get them in a non-criminal manner. The use of harmless drugs like cannabis is a personal choice and the state should have no say in the matter. "Genuine criminals" are those who harm others or live by theft, fraud etc.

Articles on gender difference in intelligence and ability to succeed in school.



Blogger Frank Partisan said...

The right is steadily losing influence. It is even losing what is called the cultural wars. Their position on gay rights sank them in the long run.

Interesting about women as long term planners.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Werner said...

The problem I see here is that at one time, maybe thirty years ago, men were more likely to be seen in most professional programs with engineering and medicine being obvious examples. Considering the antics of many engineering students (some of this has been toned down over the years)you still get the impression such people are trained to be extensions of management. Actually the main difference between an engineering technology degree and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering is the place. One is done at a technical school or polytechnic and the other at a university. I'd be curious to know in what ways, if at all, admissions departments are responsible for this imbalance. At one time I would have believed this was simply due to political correctness. But how many men versus women are applying and what percentage of each sex is not being accepted? You may be right about greater opportunities for men overall. But how many guys who have the ability to be doctors or engineers would go and drive a truck? Sounds a bit like that old Jack Nicholson movie "Five Easy Pieces". Maybe some people are like that. Would this mean that more men are losing their minds. Scary.

4:36 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

On IQ tests males and females have the same median but different variances.

John Lott has an interesting discussion of the political leanings of women and convicts (or combinations of the two, like Martha Stewart) in Freedomnomics.

3:49 PM  

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