Male genius is not a “stereotype”

This from the Groniad:

Girls as young as six years old believe that brilliance is a male trait, according research into gender stereotypes.

The US-based study also found that, unlike boys, girls do not believe that achieving good grades in school is related to innate abilities.

Andrei Cimpian, a co-author of the research from New York University, said that the work highlights how even young children can absorb and be influenced by gender stereotypes – such as the idea that brilliance or giftedness is more common in men.

“Because these ideas are present at such an early age, they have so much time to affect the educational trajectories of boys and girls,” he said.

The trouble with this view – perceptions of males being more likely to be geniuses – is that it is not a “stereotype”, a form of false idea.

Quite the contrary, it is true. There are more very smart males than very smart females. It is also true that men are more likely to be savage criminal morons. No accounting of sex differences in intelligence fails to show that the distribution of male intelligence is wider than that of the female, at both ends.

I turn to Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment, which no person may call himself educated who has not read it. In Chapter twelve “Of dead white males”, Murray writes:


One aspect of this male tendency towards extremes seems to apply to cognitive ability. Although the mean IQ of men and women is apparently the same, the variability of male IQ is higher – meaning that more men than women are to be found at both the high and low extremes of IQ. Conjoined with this is evidence that men’s and women’s cognitive repertoires are somewhat different….

The existing circumstantial evidence is already strong enough to have persuaded me that disparities in accomplishment between the sexes are significantly grounded in biological differences, but nothing in this brief rehearsal of the arguments need sway readers who are confident that science will prove me wrong. I close the discussion of sex differences with the point I made at the outset: All we need is a few decades’ patience and we won’t have to argue any more. (pp.289-291)

Finally I would like to quote Charles Murray, writing in the Afterword to The Bell Curve in 1995.


A few weeks after the Bell Curve appeared, a reporter said to me that the real message of the book is , “Get serious”. I resisted his comment at first, but now I think he was right. We never quite say it in so many words, but the book’s subtext is that America’s discussion of social policy since the 19670s has been carried on in a never-never land where human beings are easily changed and society can eventually become a Lake Wobegon where all the children are above average. The Bell Curve does indeed imply that it is time to  get serious about how best to accommodate the huge and often intractable individual differences that shape human society. (pp. 574-575)

Today’s rubbish on stereotypes indicates that the getting serious has yet to occur.

The Guardian’s article concluded:

Dame Athene Donald, professor of experimental physics at the University of Cambridge, agreed. “If we are to facilitate a gender-balanced workforce of engineers, mathematicians and physicists in the future it is clear interventions at secondary school just aren’t going to be sufficient,” she said. “Parents, teachers and the media need to work much harder eradicating gender stereotypes in the way they talk about adults to children of all ages.”

To which I say, “Get real, snowflake”. The miracle is always that girls as young as seven see through the bullshit, and have some inkling that very smart boys are really smarter tan they are. Only by the time they have reached university have their minds been sufficiently warped to be fully ideologically ‘correct’.

Women make up about 2.2% of the most important figures in science and the arts. Read Human Accomplishment. Get the facts. It costs less than a good bottle of wine and its value is perpetual.