IQ fails to address all abilities 4

September 9, 2005

No, honestly, I really did sit on my hands for a few hours before writing a response to yet another piece of "science" that says that men are more intelligent than women ("IQ claim will fuel gender row", August 26).

Mostly, I try to overcome the immediate desire to shout at the offending media - in this case your front page - and consider carefully if the research in question has any merit. On this occasion, the paucity of any detail about the study, apart from the headline "finding", soon consigned it to Room 101.

But what continued to intrigue me was the notion that this new piece of "evidence" would "reignite the academic row over genetic differences between women and men", as if the flames of (some) men's desire to keep weighing the pig - or in this case, slapping it down on the table and measuring it - have ever even smouldered, let alone gone out.

I can argue the toss about sex-based advantage, discrimination and funny handshakes with the best of them, but the persistent pursuit of biological answers to socially constructed problems does seem a little, well, stupid.

Karen Ross
Coventry University

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