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The stereotype that men are smarter than women has a long history.
But in the battle of the sexes,
who actually has the superior intellect when it comes down to it?
Are boys smarter than girls?
Early studies showed that male brains are 8-13% larger in volume than female brains.
However, this has since been attributed to differences in body size.
Women's brains have more gyrification or brain folding,
and as a result, a greater cortical surface area.
Besides, bigger isn't always better.
Sperm whales, elephants and dolphins
all have larger brains than humans,
and while they are smart, their cognitive abilities are less than our own.
There are other structural differences though,
like males having more connections within hemispheres,
while women have more connections between hemispheres.
But overall, MRI brain imaging shows significant overlap in the physical structure between the sexes.
After studying 1400 brains, and comparing the sexes,
researchers found that mostly all men and women show
a mosaic of female and male typical structures in the brain.
The study also evaluated gender stereotypical behaviors,
like how video games are often considered male behavior,
while scrapbooking is female.
And the results found only 0.1% of test subjects displayed only male or only female typical behaviors.
Tests on intelligence find similar results with major IQ studies showing
negligible or no sex differences in general intelligence,
but do show women having stronger verbal abilities,
while men show stronger visual spacial abilities.
Interestingly, studies show more male variance in tests,
with their scores being both the worst and the best.
One meta-analysis of 22 studies did find men to be 3.3-5.5 IQ points above women,
but this study has been called into question by academics
who found the methodology flawed.
In the academic performance of language, math and science,
women consistently received better grades in 70% of nations.
But on SAT testing in the US, men scored 33 points higher in math and science.
Other tests, like the program for International Student Assessment,
show both sexes performing equally in several countries,
with girls performing better in some, like Iceland,
suggesting cultural and environmental differences
and not necessarily biological differences at play.
But researchers found that stereotypes about women's performance
actually impact how well they do.
When told that a particular math test had significant gender differences,
women performed significantly worse than their male peers,
while women who were told there was no difference scored the same.
This phenomenon is known as the "stereotype threat".
Even Google search data shows that parents are 2.5 times more likely to search
"Is my son gifted?" than "Is my daughter gifted?"
despite 11% more girls in gifted programs in America.
And girls pick up on these biases as early as six years old.
When told story at age 5, about a person who is really really smart,
both boys and girls associate intelligence with their own gender.
But by age 6, both girls and boys picked a male character as the smartest.
In a similar experiment, kids were asked if they wanted to play a game for people who are really really smart.
And again, at age 5, both sexes wanted to play,
but by age 6, girls had decided these games weren't for them.
And though women do try to work in STEM fields,
studies show they face barriers.
In a double-blind study,
science faculty from research universities graded applications for a lab manager position.
What they didn't know,
is that the applications were randomly assigned either male or female names.
As a result, faculty perceived the male appplicant names to be
significantly more competent, hirable and deserving of mentoring,
even though the applications with female names were identical.
Males were also offered higher starting salaries,
an average of $30,000 v.s. the females' $26,000.
Though these studies present a sobering reality,
research does point to greater equality between the sexes with passing decades and education.
And in spite of these barriers, women continue to contribute to our collective scientific knowledge.
Rosaline Franklin allowed us to understand our own DNA.
Katherine Johnson helped Apollo 11 land on the moon.
And this year, Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for mathematics.
Fellow mathematician, Izabella Laba, said,
Mirzakhani's selection does exactly nothing to convince me that women are capable of doing mathematical research at the same level as men.
I have never had any doubt about that in the first place
What I take from it instead is that we as a society, men and women alike, are becoming better at encouraging and nurturing mathematical talent in women, and more capable of recognizing excellence in women's work.
To learn more, we asked the women at AsapScience to speak personally about their experiences growing up
and give insights into how they navigate the societal pressures of being a woman.
Click on the screen or the link in the description to check out that video.
And subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

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Are Boys Smarter Than Girls?

21865 タグ追加 保存
missnerdypants 2017 年 4 月 1 日 に公開
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