Gina C Lemos et al., 2013
The analysis of sex differences in cognitive abilities is largely confusing because these differences are masked by the pervasive influence of the general factor of intelligence (g). In this study a battery of five reasoning tests (abstract [AR], numerical [NR], verbal [VR], mechanical [MR], and spatial [SR]) was completed by a sample of 3233 young and old adolescents representative of the population. Using a latent variable approach, mean differences on the general factor were estimated after examining measurement invariance. Results show that the difference, favoring boys in latent g increases with age from two to four IQ points. Further, boys outperform girls in all the subtests and the observed differences were generally explained by g. However, mechanical reasoning is a systematic and strong exception to this finding. For the young adolescents, the observed difference in MR is equivalent to 10 IQ points, and this difference increases to 13 IQ points for the old adolescents. Only 1 (young) or 2 (old) IQ points of the sex difference in MR can be accounted for by g. The findings suggest that the persistent – and usually neglected average large advantage of boys in mechanical reasoning (MR) — orthogonal to g – might be behind their higher presence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. A new look at this relevant social issue is proposed in this study.
[So it seems as if there are at least two factors which are responsible for the over-representation of men in the STEM-fields. (A) Men have slightly higher IQ's and the SD of the male IQ-distribution is larger, and (B) men are much better at MR. Are women better at psychological reasoning? I think so. (Although men seem to be more talented for doing psychometric research.) But currently there are no tests which could measure this female advantage. Until now emotional-intelligence-tests are quite useless.]