The history of IQ testing has always been politically sensitive. The earliest IQ tests were consciously designed by researchers who believed in gender and race differences in IQ, and so not surprisingly such differences were found until tests were made more culturally fair. But a recent study has found that female IQ scores have risen above men’s for the first time. This finding has been reported by James Flynn, a world authority on IQ.
Flynn is famous for proving that IQs are slowly rising in the Western world, as educational opportunity rises, along with increases in nutrition and so on. This effect is named after Flynn himself (the Flynn effect). But now Flynn has found that women’s IQs are rising faster than men’s. It may well be that the societal changes for women involving an increased role in the workplace, increased education, and multi-tasking in their professional and family lives, has had the benefit of enhancing their cognitive skills.
Flynn’s new study shows that in several developed countries the gap in IQ between men and women had become almost non-existent, and in several countries (New Zealand, Estonia & Argentina), women’s had actually outstripped men’s. Australia was the country with the closest match between male and female IQs.
These findings will be reported in James Flynn’s forthcoming book.