Wednesday, 16 November 2011

< Secrets of The Sexes: Psychological Sex Differences >

Women have stronger verbal abilities. But what exactly does 'verbal ability mean? Some of tests that have been used are word fluency, use of grammar, spelling, reading, ability to understand, extend of vocabulary. In all of these areas women show an advantage over men. The only verbal area in which men sometimes show small advantage is in the generation of analogies. It's possible to argue that these tests don't accurately represent 'verbal ability', but that's nitpicking.

The differences between men and women in mathematical ability are actually fairly small. Men show a slight advantage in geometry, probability and statistics. On the other hand, women are slightly better at arithmetical calculations. Where there is a big gap is at the extremes of ability. Of the most able mathematicians (top 6%), there are 13 males for every female.

Men's main advantage is in visual-spatial abilities although they only show a major advantage in one particular area: mental rotation tasks. Men also show some advantage over women in other visual-spatial tests such as judging the orientation of a line and visualizing objects spatially, although these differences are not great. Men are also able to tell left from right under pressure more accurately than women.

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