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 show that male brains are 8 to 13 percent larger in volume than female brains,
however, this has been since 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.
抹香鲸 大象和海豚 它们的脑袋都比人类的要大
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.
MRI brain imaging shows significant overlap in the physical structure between the sexes.
After studying 14 hundred brains and comparing the sexes, researchers found that
mostly all men and woman show a mosaic of female and male typical structures in the brain.
This study also evaluated gender stereotypical behaviours.
比如 玩电子游戏通常被认为是男性行为 而剪贴簿则是女性做的
Like how video games are often considered male behaviour while scrapbooking is female,
and the results found
only 0.1 % of test subjects displayed only male or only female typical behaviours.
Tests on intelligence find similar results with major IQ studies
总体上 男女表现的智商差异可忽略 或不存在
showing negligeable, or no sex differences in general intelligence
but do show women having stronger verbal abilities while men show stronger visual-spatial 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 to 5.5 IQ points above women.
But this study has been called into question by academics who found the methodology flawed.
In academic performance of language, math and science,
women consistently received better grade in 70% of nations.
But on SAT testing in the U.S., men scored 33 points higher in math and science.
Other tests like the Program for International Student Assessment
showed 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 research has found
that stereotypes about womens 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 phenomenom is known as the stereotype threat.
Even Google search data shows that parents 2.5 times more likely to
“我的儿子比女儿更有天赋吗” 的概率是搜索 “我的女儿比儿子更有天赋吗”的2.5倍
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 bias as early as 6 years old.
When told a story at age 5
about a person who is really really smart
both boys and girls associate intelligence with there 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 strive to work
自然科学 技术 工程和数学领域很努力 研究显示她们仍面临诸多困难
in STEM fields studies show they face barriers.
In a double blind study science faculty from research universities
rated 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 applicant names to be significantly more competent,
hireable 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 versus the females 26,000.
Though these studies produce 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.
Rosalind 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
women to win a Nobel prize for mathematics.
Fellow mathematician Izabella Laba said
“Mirzakhan’s selection does exactly nothing to convince me that women are capable of doing
mathematical research at the same level of 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 reconizing excellence in women’s work.”
To learn more we asked the women
at ASAP Science to speak personally about their experiences growing up
and give insight about 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.