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Today I was treated to a talk from James Flynn in Cambridge, England. I always enjoy his talks, because they are highly provocative and thoughtful. I'll give a quick recap for those of you interested in Flynn's actual data and intepretations.

So my conclusion is the sexes on the Raven's is probably dead equal for cognitive factors and there is a very slight female advantage for characterological traits.

This is mere extrapolation from what happens at secondary school.

You would expect a little female advantage because of temperamental differences." Flynn notes that in his class at the University of Otago, "2/3rd of the students are women, and 2/3rd of the late essays are men." He says this is a universal phenomenon.

Analyzing those 5 datasets and throwing away all of the older studies from the prior generation (prior to 1982), he compared men and women on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test, a test of abstract, logical reasoning.

Setting the male score at 100, Flynn found that women scored the lowest in Australia (99.5), but in the other 4 nations Raven's scores varied from 100.5 to 101.5.

After presenting this data, he noted: "So they certainly equaled men, and perhaps were slightly above.This has been distorted in the news of my saying that women are incredibly more intelligent than men.As you can see, this somewhat goes beyond what was claimed." The audience chuckled.Flynn then goes on make the argument that in every country in which women have been allowed full entry into modernity in terms of educational opportunities, they are now matching men on Raven's.As for the fraction of a point advantage in IQ for women, "I suspect that is a characterological trait.They are also more focused in the testing room just as they are more focused in the classroom.

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  1. Today I was treated to a talk from James Flynn in Cambridge, England. I always enjoy his talks, because they are highly provocative and thoughtful. I'll give a quick recap for those of you interested in Flynn's actual data and intepretations.

  2. Flynn looked at IQ scores from ages 14-18 and found 5 modern states where he could get standardization samples with at least 500 people of each gender.

  3. The states he looked at were Australia, New Zealand, White South Africa, Estonia, and Argentina.

  4. It was important that he used standardization samples, because that means that the IQ researchers made an effort to get as representative a sample as possible.

  5. So my conclusion is the sexes on the Raven's is probably dead equal for cognitive factors and there is a very slight female advantage for characterological traits.

  6. This is mere extrapolation from what happens at secondary school.

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