Thursday, August 10, 2006

Women: good at Scattergories

From an Economist article on differences between the sexes:
Although it is commonly held that there are reliable differences between the verbal abilities of males and females, Dr Hines suggests this is not exactly correct. She says that the results of hundreds of tests of vocabulary and reading comprehension show there is almost no gap between the sexes. Though teenage girls are better at spelling than teenage boys, the only aspect of verbal ability that is known to show a sex difference in adults is verbal fluency (the ability to produce words rapidly). For example, when asked to list as many words as possible that start with a particular letter, women usually come up with more than men. Furthermore, even when there are differences in ability between the sexes, research suggests that the scale of these differences is often smaller than people generally believe.


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