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Women top men in IQ tests, but both are rising

Women are edging ahead in the battle of the sexes - at least in terms of IQ.

Women have overtaken men in IQ scores for the first time in a century after scoring as much as five points lower than men for the past 100 years, The Telegraph reported.

Men are also boasting rising IQ scores even though they have fallen behind.

Increases in male and female IQ scores can be attributed to intellectual adaptations to modern life, according to James Flynn, a well-known IQ testing expert.

"This is a consequence of modernity," Flynn said. "The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ."

IQ, which is widely considered to be an accurate predictor of both educational achievement and job performance, is believed to be a product of both hereditary and environmental factors.

Flynn, who is currently writing a book about IQ and gender, reasoned that women may now be testing higher than men because the challenge of both raising a family and pursuing a career is making them more intelligent.

Another theory is that women may have always had the potential to score higher on IQ tests, but are only finally doing so because women's access to education was tempered in the past.

"This improvement is more marked for women than for men because they were disadvantaged in the past," Flynn said.

Flynn acknowledged that he needs more data to adequately explain the IQ testing differences.

IQ, however, isn't the only area where there's a gender gap.

Women are expected to make up 59 percent of total undergraduate enrollment and 61 percent of total graduate enrollment in the U.S. in less than decade, according to a 2010 report by the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.

Women in the workforce are also surpassing men in holding college degrees, according to data released by the Census Bureau in 2011. Thirty-five percent of employed men have earned a bachelor's degree or higher, as compared to 37 percent of women.

But while men seem to be falling behind in the educational sphere, they still tend to earn higher wages than their female counterparts.

Women's wages tend to plateau at $60,000 per year by the time they reach 39, according to a recent study by Men's earnings, on the other hand, continue to grow to about $95,000 per year until age 48.


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07/17/2012 5:21AM
Women top men in IQ tests, but both are rising
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