- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1108 Hour
- Reading permission
I quote the relevant part:
I’ve several times used the masculine pronoun here, and it’s not cavalier sexism. Simonton discusses gender differences in creative genius. These again take him back to Darwin, who himself noticed that in a wide range of animal species, including homo sapiens, males exhibit a greater variation, for good and for ill, than females. Given an individual animal that displays some markedly unusual characteristic relative to other members of its species -- it is very unusually stupid, or aggressive, or curious, or strong, or imaginative, or psychotic, or vicious -- the chances are it will be male. We can speculate on the selective causes for this (Simonton regards it as unknown), but it is as true with human beings as it is with elk or hummingbirds. In our ordinary daily experience of people, this fact shows itself in statistical differences between men and women some of which might be social and cultural, but some of which have a biological basis.
If you chart the distribution of intelligence or general life competence by plotting abilities against population, you get a standard Gaussian distribution, a bell curve, with most people toward the center and decreasing extremes on either side. However, the enhanced-variation principle for males works here as well. When you plot separately for men and women, you find that the female curve is higher at the center, and trails off, approaching zero faster toward the edges, making the women’s curve a tall, thin bell, relative to the male curve. The male curve is flatter in its general shape; it makes up for its relative lack of height by trailing off farther on either side, indicating the higher number of men than women at the extreme edges of the bell. This difference in distribution means that in the center of the curve, where most of us (both sexes) reside, women are found with a slightly greater frequency than men. Down at the low fringes of the bell curve, men are found in greater numbers than women: these include the sociopaths who populate prisons, institutionalized psychotics, where men very significantly out-number women, and what might have been called in another age “riff-raff”: persons who float at the edges of society, institutionalized or not, depending on their overt behavior toward others and the degree of their incapacity to care for themselves.
But just as this variability characteristic insures that there are more crazy, subnormal males than females off at the low end of the curve, it also makes for more above-normal males, crazed or sane, at the high end. (Straddling both categories are the idiot savants, who predictably are much more often male: people who are unable to tie their shoes but who can instantly tell you the score of every World Series game ever played.) At the high end will be found the nut-cases who show up at my office door clutching their manuscripts, as well as highly intelligent obsessive and compulsive people of every eccentric description. I have talked with feminists who fret about the absence of women at the highest strata of historically important achievement in the sciences and the arts. Certainly they are partially right that historical sexism has to be a factor in this, and Simonton himself respectfully summarizes the arguments that explain the absence of women at the higher edges in terms of gender stereotyping and the impediments created by domestic life. But even if in future years social conditions are changed to encourage greater equality of achievement between the sexes, actual gender parity is about as likely to occur in the intellectual ionosphere of creative genius as it is in the realm of severe psychotics or idiot-savants. This is a matter of male variation -- which increases more than female variation as you move out from the mean in either direction -- and Gaussian distributions. So while the difference in IQ between men and women is trivial in the center of the curve, differences increase as you move up the scale, so that at IQ 175 there will be around 47 men for every woman (mirroring the many more low-IQ men at the other side of the curve). That these weird ones at the high end of the curve include more men than women is a worry we ought to place into perspective. Did those who worry ever share an apartment with a male example of one of these people? If so, was the personal and mental condition of said genius something they’d wish on the sisterhood? The disparity between the male/female distribution curves shows that on average women function through life with greater competence and stability than men. This too is intelligence.
But you don't need research results to confirm this, just have a look around.