THE SCIENCE ON WOMEN AND SCIENCE


Excerpt from the conclusion written by Charles Murray, AEI.2009

We have reviewed overwhelming evidence that genetic and hormonal differences between males and females are major causes of sex differences in 258 THE SCIENCE ON WOMEN AND SCIENCE behavior. These include differences in social behaviors in infants, play behaviors, interests, activities, educational and vocational goals, choices of occupations, patterns of cognitive abilities, and the frequency of extreme giftedness in spatial, mechanical, and mathematical ability. The dominance of female doctoral students in the life and human sciences and of male doctoral students in the inorganic sciences and engineering is consistent with and predictable by sex differences in interests and ability patterns. The greater social interest and ability of females than males is evident in infancy. The differing play activities and interests of boys and girls share similarities with sex differences in the play behaviors of nonhuman primates. Interests, activities, values, and vocational goals that differentiate girls from boys and women from men are strongly affected by the level of fetal androgen exposure or tissue sensitivity to androgen. Daily, monthly, or yearly cycles in levels of adult sex hormones influence performance on certain verbal and spatial tasks 




Although the magnitude of average sex differences in certain cognitive abilities has declined in the last forty years, none of these differences has disappeared or is likely to disappear. However, even if there were no cognitive sex differences in average mathematical or spatial ability, there would still be more males than females at the upper end of intellectual talent due to greater male variance. In consequence, there would still be more males than females who meet even minimum standards to be academic engineers, physical scientists, or mathematicians, and many more men than women with exceptionally high levels of talent. Even if both the mean and variance of mathematical and spatial ability were identical for men and women, there would be more men than women with interests in engineering, the physical sciences, or mathematics, and more women than men with interests in medicine, the life and human sciences, humanities, or the arts. Because interests, values, and vocational aspirations are strongly influenced by the organizing actions of androgen on the fetal brain, we could not—without coercive force or manipulation of the hormonal environment of the fetus—equalize the numbers of men and women in all fields of science, engineering, and math even if, in contrast to reality, men and women were identical in the mean and variance of all cognitive abilities.



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