http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/16/women-beat-men-on-iq-tests-for-first-time/ : Women Beat Men on IQ Tests For First Time
I was surprised to see the spate of articles on this question. I have been confused on the question for some time, since I doubted the proposition, under the circumstances of my life, but somewhat unconsciously suspected the truth of the proposition. As a teacher I have often noticed the way that performance is a function of self-confidence, and I have seen lots of cases of women with crippled self-confidence underperform. The same situation often occurs with men, of course. But it was often obvious that women were underperforming, and I was often unable to figure what the real ‘reality’ was.
However, there are a lot of problems here: IQ tests are always challenged and then psychologists turn around and drop the Big Putdown as science, in the process repeatedly crippling the self-confidence of whole populations and subsets thereof. People should not be horsewhipped by these tests. They originally told us Jews weren’t smart. After that record we should take these findings as a form of gallows non-humor.
Psychologists should always be challenged given that history: the proponents of IQ differences are ready in the end to perform mass murder. The last century proved it, on the basis of upside down thinking. Demand your rights against these stupid tests (which, of course, may or may not touch on some phase of science, maybe).
Men should do what women have only recently been able to do: maintain self-respect and a sense of the non-linear paradoxes of intelligence as the pendulum swings in an opposite direction. Men are suddenly being eaten alive by bad social contexts, from pornography to the generally debilitating economic environment which is very hard to master if you start from a level playing field. Economic success is a confusing test. I was once down and out, and offered a job in advertising that could have changed my financial life for good. I turned it down flat and returned to riding freight trains. I consider that intelligent. People at the top of the heap are such assholes turning Faustian devils I must often wonder where the real ‘success’ lies.
But men seem to be in trouble now. Vast numbers could deteriorate and end in social skidrow where with a little help, effort, and right thinking the opposite is the case. But the system is designed for social darwinism, so once you get in the downward spiral, keep in mind that the system may want you there for good darwinian bad reasons. Once you see that you can snap out of it and move slowly into a new life, maybe. But if there are no jobs, then what? I have often watched men on skidrow and the way men can suddenly go into a nose dive. The immense world of the Gospel Missions helps some escape. But I have often seen the total refusal of men needing help to have anything to do with Baptist Skidrow missions. Most would rather be bums than born again. A new way is needed.
I was always a sort of buddhist looking for the Great Forest. In India it actually works that way. In the USA all they have is skidrow. You can’t so easily escape the social illusion without ending up in a downward spiral.
And we need a reminder that ‘intelligence’ can be a variable quantity: you can fairly easily change it with vigorous and persistent effort. But the hype here, and false remedies have nearly wrecked this possibility. Quietly keep trying to work with and learn from hard situations. Take the pledge on sports mania and its dumbed down crowds. I once interacted with a fellow who took up C programming (in the eighties, a bit out of date now) at its peak at the dawn of the computer revolution. He took to it with alacrity, and focused on it twelve hours a day for a year. The leap into geekhood was obvious to watch. That’s a bad example really, a bit crude. A similar phase with languages, or poetry, or yoga, or pure math, or even sports (?), or anything might be better. But the point is clear: after a year of mad programming the sudden change in acuity perhaps intelligence was obvious. The trick was simple: a major change of habits, and forcing the brain to change, not just one, but many habits. Your brain can rewire, even late in life. Sometimes late in life is the best time! But there is no excuse for making slightly slower and unconfident individuals suffer their fate for a whole life.
But let us hope that women can extricate themselves from an entire history of unrealized potential. The legacy of achievement over the last five thousand years, and especially the last 2500 has been consistently male. And this had a patriarchal component. But it was an obvious situation given the harsh facts of procreation and population statistics. A new era began with modernity, and it quickly moved against a patriarchal tradition, and now that is coming into its own (in part in the era of the Pill), and in the process as I can see already men are going into a complex funk that could be destructive. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is something in human evolution that worked both for and against men in ways that are hard to sort out.
Also, we should touch on the fact that men lose tremendous amounts of energy in the sexual sphere. This is not prudery or sermonizing. The modern world prides itself on sexual liberation, but has the result succeeded? In fact, yes, on its own terms. But there seems to be a catch.
Let us recall that for much of history men realized their weakness in the game of the sexes and invoked celibacy, isolation, monastic self-defense. I can’t say I approve of that, and the result was often worse, but it is important to see how much history has been taken up in that. Youcan do all that much better in the middle of society, if you can figure out the problem. Men are going to suffer a huge disorganization, after having nearly built the whole of civilization. It is an odd situation. But it is important to not miscalculate here: the change is what I would call ‘eonic’ or ‘epochal’: a new era has come into existence and it is pendulum resetting a balance away from the patriarchal age. Finding one’s way through that is the challenge for men in the near to far future. Many conservative types think to restore the old patriarchy, but I doubt that will happen.
In any case consider the buddhist lesson: you don’t have to join the social realm. You can renounce the world and move into a different mode. Males are becoming superflous to civilization, and need feel no guilt for being no longer needed. After the legacy of male warfare, the world would obviously be better off run by women. So the place one finds on the fringes of ‘samsara’ require thought.
The number of men on the fringes of civilization is rapidly increasing in the idiocy of capitalism. You can also elect to join the army of the revolutionary future moving toward a world of postcapitalism.