Women smarter than men in developed world

July 16, 2012 at 11:49 PM
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DUNEDIN, New Zealand, July 16 (UPI) -- A study has fund women in the developed world score higher than men in IQ tests, a researcher in New Zealand said.

Women were as much as 5 points behind men when IQ testing began a century ago, but then gap -- which led some psychologists to propose a theory that women's brains are genetically inferior to men's -- has been narrowing in recent years and this year women moved ahead, The Australian reported.

Study author James Flynn, an international authority on IQ tests in New Zealand, collected IQ data in 500 men and 500 women ages 15-18.

The study found male and female IQs were almost identical in Australia, but in New Zealand, Estonia and Argentina, women scored marginally higher than men.

IQ scores of men and women rose during the past century, but women's rose faster with -- the improvement more noticeable in women than men because they were more disadvantaged in the past, The Australian said.

In the 1980s, Flynn showed IQ scores in developed countries increased about three points a decade -- making the IQ scores of modern Caucasian Westerners about 30 points more than those living 100 years ago, the Australian said. This "Flynn Effect" showed IQ was not genetic and could be improved.

Flynn said his findings will be included in a book coming out this year.

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