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December 23, 2008

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It may be more complicated; math nerds also have more male brains (closer to Asperger's). It could be that the systematizing-empathizing axes and the androgen/estrogen balance are discordant in some way, because you're right, math nerds don't fit what we think of as a 'male brain'.

My guess is that jocks have high testosterone levels but are intermediate between empathizing and systematizing.

Engineering certainly seems to be a prestigious occupation. Programming may not be, but that's for complex reasons that you have pointed out at length.

Whatever prestige law still has left was earned years ago when it was still a mostly male field.

maybe i attended an outlier high school b/c our math team had soccer (3 times state champions while i attended), tennis, cross country and football players. it also had girls on the cheerleading squad and homecoming court. some of them were also sga officers. the math team also came in 1st, 2nd or 3rd at state competitions, so it wasn't like they were idiots.

all i'm saying is it's not a given that someone decent at math is going to be a nerd, nor is it that someone decent at a physical sport is going be a jock.

My theory is that warfare, in organized societies, is founded upon geometry and physics. Men possessing numerical skills would have been more likely to survive. And would have achieved status in society, making it easier to attract women.

This could be proven is there is a smaller math gap among test takers from primitive societies.

La Griffe du Lion is here looking at two recent reports that claimed the gender gap in math had disappeared, or was only present in male oppressor societies like you find in Muslim countries.

du Lion shows clearly that the gender gap is present in all societies, has always been present in all societies, and shows no sign of going away. In other words, he refutes the findings of the two recent, well-publicized feminist friendly studies with clear evidence and reasoning.

Feminists hate the math gender gap because it shows that there is another reason for male dominance in mathematically intensive fields besides prejudice and discrimination. The persistent gap spells doom for feminist efforts to achieve female dominance or at least equivalency in all fields.

Feminists don't mind female dominance in Psychology or Obstetrics or Pediatrics. That's quite all right. But male dominance in any field for any reason is strictly verboten!

Couple things:

1) For the uninitiated, La Griffe du Lion is Sailer's go-to politically incorrect statistical jedi. Always has some good stuff.

2) Why do we need studies showing us what anyone who has been married, had a sister or a daughter knows? Females are not nearly as pattern-re-cognizant-systemic-logical-mathematically talented as males. Not only are they not as naturally/genetically good as males, on average, even the ones who ARE, dislike doing math.

3) It is true, a lot of what the sheeple value is controlled by women's preferences, the lack of prestige for mathematical oriented professions is something malleable and has roots in the frequency of betas in any profession. In Eastern Europe, for example, alpha males traditionally made up a large proportion of engineers and engineering was a revered profession.

4) [My theory is that girls have better handwriting, and the graders are more kindly disposed when they can more easily read the essays.]

Excellent point. Although no one will ever give credence to it. In grad school, I corrected student exams and FOUND MYSELF giving better grades to better handwriting EVEN WHEN I WAS TRYING TO CORRECT FOR SUCH A BIAS.

Since you didn't have to take the writing portion of the SAT, you probably didn't realize that the actual essay portion of the SAT is only 30% of the score and is graded on a scale of 1-6 by two graders. The rest of the score (70%) is based off of grammar related multiple choice. I doubt that writing neatly in the essay portion can explain the variance.

"My theory is that girls have better handwriting, and the graders are more kindly disposed when they can more easily read the essays." (HS)

Maybe? But why do women have better hand writing?

I believe women have better verbal activities becuase thy evolved to value communication more. They evolved to be concerned with in group/ inner tribe activities. Everyone was accepted in the tribe, therefor women had to figure out how to make inner tribal politics work.

Men on the other hand were concerned with the strategic. Men had to constantly triangulate. They had to figure out cause and effect (which is the cornerstone of scientific thinking). Throwing spears, hunting, forming alliances, leading nomadic tribes over space, all requires visual-spatial.

This is also why women are much more altruistic than men. Men also tend to be more xenophobic than women. To a women, everyone is "accepted," while the male mind requires outsiders to "prove" themselves. This can all be summed up as follows:

WOMEN SEE FAMILY WHILE MEN SEE NATIONS.

"all i'm saying is it's not a given that someone decent at math is going to be a nerd, nor is it that someone decent at a physical sport is going be a jock."

That's the correct distinction -- good at math vs. bad at math. This is what the data are on, so testosterone probably plays a big role.

The other distinction -- devotes life to math vs. doesn't devote life to math -- draws on geeky personality traits, where the effect of testosterone may be dampened.

Still, make no mistake -- even if they aren't physically aggressive, personality-wise most academics are very combative and emotionally thick-skinned. Science ain't for wimps.

In general, it's a mistake to judge the high-IQ based on geeks and nerds -- you have to look at lawyers, businessmen, and all the other people up there.

Of course, a computer programmer with a 120 IQ could never admit that a prick lawyer has a higher IQ than he does -- just because he doesn't know how to write code -- and therefore most of the yak-yak about smarties is restricted to geeks, rather than all smart people.

Another example is the mistaken belief that IQ and attractiveness are not related to each other, or are negative related. Not true: smarter people are better-looking.

According to TIMSS, which is now far more credible and more widely accepted than SAT, it's between 8th and 12th grade that the gender and race gaps really take off.

But because media, educators, bureaucrats, politicians, and other powers that be studiously ignore the sad state of our high schools, as evidenced by SAT, TIMSS, NAEP, etc., and instead focus only on 8th grade performance, less than 7% of Americans are aware of just how low we scored in TIMSS at the 12th grade level. Comparing 8th grade scores understates the problem because 45 countries who participated in this study of more than half a million students around the world proved that the last four years of a student's education is the most important part, and 8th grade scores obviously miss that part. Of 45 countries whose 12th graders participated in TIMSS Math, the boys in 35 of those countries scored higher than the 8th grade math score, and those in 7 countries scored lower. In the US, 12th grade boys scored 56 points lower and 12th grade girls scored 104 points lower. Where Swiss 8th graders scored 46 points higher than ours in math, their 12th grade boys scored 102 points higher than our boys and 133 points higher than our girls.

How shocked they all would be if they realized that our 12th grade girls scored DEAD LAST in physics, 130 points lower than girls in Norway and almost 200 points lower than boys in Norway, simply because the scores of American girls from the 8th to 12th grade dropped even faster than our boys, whose scores dropped even more than that for girls in most other TIMSS nations. Conversely, relative to their 8th grade scores, 12th grade boys in Cyprus scored 89 points higher, in Norway scored 84 points higher, and in Sweden scored 66 points higher.

Whatever their high schools are doing that ours aren't we'd better start doing QUICKLY or it won't be long before we're a dark smudge on the "global economy".

Simply goodle timss to get to the truth about this gender gap. Good point about handwriting--if 30% of the test was essay questions, this explains precisely why the "gender gap" in writing suddenly disappeared after SAT was "recentered" [read: dropped an entire standard deviation to hide the 140 point drop in SAT scores over the last four decades].

Math is more like playing a violin in that it takes practice and the best people at it like banging their head against a problem (like playing video games). Women, if you believe the anthropoligist) are not the type to bang their head against the wall to solve a problem.

Also, I wonder what the SAT scores look like broken out by race or ethnicity. I did not think you saw the differences in the Chinese or Koreans as much as Europeans.

"Because people value what they [would like to be] good at, and because women rather than men control what society considers prestigious[SOURCE POLICE!] (because men have to compete for women in order to mate), the result is lack of prestige[PAGING SIR ISAAC NEWTON] of mathematical oriented professionas (such as computer programmers and engineers) compared to verbal oriented professions (such as lawyers)." Siggy

A Fields Medal winner with a decent haircut and a sense of humor will definitely attract primo tail. And, Sigma, we all know that prestige is relative (yes, some people think Kayne West is the incarnation of JS Bach).

Half Sigma

Can we be sure that sex hormones cause scores to diverge at puberty? Or is it just a coincidence with the mathematical curriculum. It's wrong to consider the curriculum coherent throughout all grade levels: up through 6th or 7th grade, "mathematics" is essentially just arithmetic. Only at this point are equations, variables and other abstractions introduced. Arithmetic has little in common, besides the use of numbers, to the stylized mathematical thinking that underlies high school material like algebra and geometry. So the point of test-score divergence coincides with a shift in the focus of mathematical curricula.

Simple calculations and estimation are practical for everyone, male and female, and possible to carry out mentally, without the need for any external equipment (be it a calculator or pen and paper). Thus its likely that both sexes would perform equally well on this material.

There's an optimum level of testosterone to be good at spatial reasoning. The average women has too little, but the average man has too much. Low testosterone men have just the right amount, hence they are nerds.

I hit puberty at age 11. Now I know why I suck at math. Thanks, Sigma! My life has a new meaning.
Virility has its drawbacks!

"Whatever their high schools are doing that ours aren't we'd better start doing QUICKLY or it won't be long before we're a dark smudge on the 'global economy.'"

I don't see why. For the vast majority of Americans, the ability to do the sort of physics one learns in school is pretty much irrelevant to their lives. In terms of being competitive as a country, a decent number of people who are excellent at math and science will suffice, which we have as far as I know.

"Because people value what they are good at, and because women rather than men control what society considers prestigious (because men have to compete for women in order to mate), the result is lack of prestige of mathematical oriented professionas (such as computer programmers and engineers) compared to verbal oriented professions (such as lawyers).

"Why do girls outperform boys on the writing section? My theory is that girls have better handwriting, and the graders are more kindly disposed when they can more easily read the essays."--Half Sigma

Sigma, do you have any idea how misogynistic the above is? Good penmanship indeed. I think it would be a good idea for you to come out of the closet on your contempt for women.

As to what constitutes a prestigious profession:

Does anyone on this board think being president of the United States is a prestigious job? After all, in the history of the presidency there was but 1 genius (Jefferson), and his genius was modest.

Bill Gates, Trey Parker--those are the dudes in a prestigious profession.

"That's the correct distinction -- good at math vs. bad at math. This is what the data are on, so testosterone probably plays a big role.
The other distinction -- devotes life to math vs. doesn't devote life to math -- draws on geeky personality traits, where the effect of testosterone may be dampened."

Engineering may be the most mathematically oriented occupation outside the academic world, and it's never been my impression that engineers are nerdy or low-testosterone. Civil engineering in particular has a quite masculine image.

"Engineering may be the most mathematically oriented occupation outside the academic world, and it's never been my impression that engineers are nerdy or low-testosterone. Civil engineering in particular has a quite masculine image."

Civil engineering is the least mathematical. Electrical the most. Chemical is somewhere in between. Engineers are incredibly nerdy.

http://www.rentec.com/

Go to the above web site - it is the web site of a firm that employs hundreds of ultra high IQ individuals.

The firm is Rnaissance Technologies - each year they consider the IQ of thousands of applicants and fill their ranks with the ones with the absolute highest IQ. They have defeated their competitors for more than 20 years now, posting strong numbers year after year after year. The head of the firm is a former math professor that now takes home about a billion dollars a year in personal income. The average professional takes home a $5 million a year paycheck (once they have 5 years or more of tenure)

High paying jobs are available to those with super high IQ- almost all of them are men

alpha male traits like muscle mass and charisma just don't count for much in that environment.

my point is that alpha male traits are required in some fields and not required in others.

If you are born with an average iq but you also have alpha male traits you can make lots of money - if you are born with a spectacular off the chart IQ and have no alpha male traits you might make even more money at a place like Renaissance.

if you lack iq and you lack alpha male traits you are in trouble

La Griffe du Lion = Professor Robert Gordon

http://www.soc.jhu.edu/people/Gordon/

He is a sociologist and former husband of Linda Gottfredson.

"if you lack iq and you lack alpha male traits you are in trouble"

And you wonder why people vote Democrat...

Interesting article, thanks HS.

Star, what you claim about La Griffe's identity is plausible, but do you have any other supporting evidence? Ironclad tenure plus nearness to retirement age plus an independent fortune would be the minimal armour cladding required for any academic who publically admitted to writing so far out of the lobotomised mainstream.

Al,

I am not guessing. His identity is known among his peers (present and former associates).

I will not expose all of the details of what I know, but I invite you to compare the topics discussed by La Griffe and those that have been listed as interests by Gordon. You might also look for referenced by La Griffe to his Ex. They have co-authored papers in the past. Don't forget to examine the length and writing style of La Griffe and Gordon.

La Griffe is the alter ego of a guy who sees everything as relating to a single statistical function. As Gordon, this is called "critical IQ," as La Griffe, it is called "smart fraction theory." If you need a final proof, read Gordon's article: Everyday Life as an Intelligence Test: Effects of Intelligence and Intelligence Context. He introduces critical IQ on page 30 and onward. Note that the subjects and even the graphs are rehashed by his alter ego. Also keep in mind that his perspective comes directly from sociology, not psychology. Linda is also a sociologist.

I don't understand Half Sigma's bias against testosterone. There is no real evidence that testosterone, in itself, depresses IQ. On the contrary, low testosterone is linked with cognitive decline in older men. Also, women who have been given testosterone saw their visuo-spatial abilities go up considerably (there are medical studies; look them up).

Maybe, high-T men don't end up as mathematicians because it is not as high-status as being a lawyer, a banker, or a business executive. Trust me, I've seen the types of men who become I-bankers; they're not spindly dweebs. Look at all the lacrosse players on Wall Street. What about military men? Two things have been found to predict final rank: facial dominance (indicative of testosterone) and alma mater (preferably a service academy).

"Boys better at math than girls."

Boys more interested in math than girls...

Anonymous: "Boys more interested in math than girls..."

It's possible that girls do poorly at math becuse they find it BORING. But people find what they aren't good at boring, so it's hard to say which comes first. Are girls bad at math because it's boring, or are they bored because they are bad at it?

I'm good at spelling, but find it boring, and never bothered to enter a spelling bee as a child.

"Are girls bad at math because it's boring, or are they bored because they are bad at it?"

Who knows? Seems to me women are just wired differently: They dance, but they don't play air guitar...That kind of stuff doesn't keep me up at night(but it really bothers liberals). Most women aren't interested in "technical" stuff either(from car repair to mechanical engineering and everything in between).

"if you lack iq and you lack alpha male traits you are in trouble"

Naw, you just need a realistic worldview and hitching yourself to one of those precious alphas, Entourage-style.

I think star's comment should be deleted

star obviously dislikes griffe
I doubt griffe is gordon, he's astatistician rather than a sociologist
and outing of h-bd commenters should be opposed on principle

By the way, I have had dinner with Jim Simons--the founder of Ren Tech, and they don't hire on IQ. They know better. They hire a lot of math Phd's--the ones who don't do well enough in academic math research to get tenure at research universities.

Jim is an exception, he was a tenured professor at Stonybrook--with some very important theorems that we still use a lot--and he quit to found the company.

As a woman research mathematician and former member of the Institute for Advanced Study and the Max Planck Institute,
and as a Differential Geometer, I find this article to be pure crap. The sexist comments are also pure crap.

More boys than girls get expensive SAT prep courses, and the SMALL differences observed are just the result of that.

Moreover, at all levels-- all the way up to the doctoral level--girls
get higher grades in math courses than boys.

p.s. Those reveling in their superior male spacial skills
are invited to play a few chess games with Judit Polgar.
My own spacial skills are off the scale high--as is true for most of the female differential geometers that I know.

Penny,

I know your personal claims are true, or at least consistent with the ones you made in a forum we shared before you left in a huff. I also know that you are smart enough to know that your personal abilities are not representative of female math abilities, as compared to males. Surely you know that no woman has won the Fields Medal. It is unlikely that any woman will ever win the medal, unless PeeCee pressures are applied to force one to be given for entirely political reasons. Males consistently score higher than females on the SAT-M. Your single, personal datum is meaningless. The vast majority of women simply cannot perform at your level and you are not performing at a Fields Medal level. Even among young students, the top scores in Math Counts are overwhelmingly (to say the least) male and that is before the male advantage fully emerges. You can also look at the numbers of women who have won the Nobel Prize in physics and see that you can count them on your left hand with three fingers left over. At the upper end, the male advantage is overwhelming in math and physics. Citing your personal example is only evidence of your inability to understand the massive data that proves you wrong.

"Those reveling in their superior male spacial skills are invited to play a few chess games with Judit Polgar." (Penny)

I see this a lot with PC types. Despite having PhDs in math or science, they still make arguments that anyone who's taken an undergraduate statistics class wouldn't make.

Also, why don't men get their panties (boxers) in a twist when discussing their lower verbal skills compared to women? If I were to make a similar argument as Penny, I guess I could bring up a male colleague of mine who defeats everyone in Scrabble?

Smarten up Penny. Stop listening to rabble rouser who can't accept the truth. On average, men have less verbal ability than women. At the same time, women have less mathematical ability as men. This doesn't mean you're not good at what you do, or that all women can't do math.

I know this isn't your fault, as I realize that since the day you stepped foot in the university system, you've been told how you're "discriminated against." But its time you grow up. There are differences between males and females just as there are differences between blacks and whites. And again, this is ON AVERGE! It doesn't mean ALL blacks have lower intellectual ability than whites or ALL Asians preform better on the SAT than whites, it just mean that ON AVERGE this is how it is.


CC01,
Men have lower verbal skills? Shakespeare was a man!
So were James Joyce, TS Elliot, and John Milton.

Oh, you mean " on stupid SAT tests, on the average boys
perform slightly worse on the verbal part". Well, yes.
What does it mean? Not clear.

Since the men above had excellent verbal ability, and since the woman mathematicians that I mentioned --all internationally eminent, and doing work as good as Fields medalists or better ( Such as giving a solution of the Einstein-Cauchy problem, or solving a Hilbert conjecture) , one should look for non-biological explanations of any
mass differences between men and women in verbal or math skills. Especially since these differences are culturally
bound--as i said, Icelandic Girls OUTPERFORM Icelandic
Boys on their ( harder) mass-mathtesting.

By the way, Inuit girls outperform American Boys on Spacial IQ tests--by quite a bit. Inuit boys--who spend even more time than the girls out on the ice without landmarks do even better. It would be interesting to see
if the girls-given that extra training--would do as well.

One telling example: There was a girl who was raised without being exposed to verbal language. Her verbal IQ was forever nil--and she ended up in an institution. However, from the age of six, she achieved PERFECT scores on all the adult IQ spacial tests she was given.

By the way, it was a woman--Lise Mietner, who used mathematics to explain nuclear fission--did she win a Nobel--nope, her male chemist collaborators did, as did
Fermi--but they didn't even KNOW they had achieved fission until her math work.

Similarly, it was a woman who discovered the structure of DNA--R. Franklin. Watson and Crick won a Nobel prize after stealing her work--and gloated about it in their book later.

Not all of science is about statistics--and, in fact, much of the problem with the soft sciences is the overuse and misuse of statistical methods.

I distrust this "on the average crap"--because it has a nasty history of being used to discriminate and keep
jobs and opportunities out of the hands of groups: Jews, Blacks, Women.

You say that I was told from the getgo in academia that I was discriminated against. Quite the opposite. I was told from the getgo that the world had changed. However, after
thirty years of observation of the severe sexism in math
, I lost that idea.

I have seen it all, for example--a male and female coauthor in their early careers--who wrote a joint paper--and the woman gets only dead end low level offers,
the man wins national prizes and gets fancy job offers--for the SAME work.

Blacks are inferior in math ability? Odd, the black mathematicians in North Africa--who have Phd degrees from places like the Sorbonne do just fine--and publish excellent research. Oh, you mean " American Blacks
do less well on some stupid SAT exam"--after most of them get inferior educations and few of them get SAT prep courses-which cost MONEY.

Enough. I am off this thread. I have theorems to prove.


Penny, I'll let your comments make my argument for me. Its pretty unlikely that a mathematician would make such arguments, and/or use such logic? While you're busy "proving theorems," I'll be out playing cornerback for a professional football team.

Because boys used to have larger differences in their verbal scores from girls verbal scores than they do now, and we are looking at adult men in the writing field.

Of course, this can also indicate that the SAT tests are really of little predictive value---which is actually quite likely.

Math scores go up more after prep classes--as the verbal skills are a wider collection of skills than the basic junior high school and sophomore level math skills tested on the SAT.

In any event, the symmetric argument of "Lion" applied to boys--when boys had larger verbal differences from girls
in their SAT verbal--doesn't predict the domination of males in literature or in the Nobel Prizes for Literature.

This shows that the so-called mathematical argument
he gives is nonsense. Anyone who has actually studied experimental design and advanced Statistics will see that the arguments are gave ---which have been attacked as non-mathematical--show that the design and interpretation of the data by Lion is very poor.

I am off this thread--finally for good.

Now, I am off the thread.

CC01,
While you are playing football, you can consider the following parallel argument to yours. If boys have lower SAT scores, then by the same stats argument used above, there would be a very large difference in the number of males and females with very high verbal ability--with females in the lead.
So why are the writing and publishing fields dominated by men? Why have very few women won the Nobel Prize for Literature?
Could it be that social factors--such as sexism--play a role?

While you are thinking about this, you might read an ADVANCED statistics book and learn about "extreme tails"
in real world distributions, and poor the above "statistical argument" actually is.

Either way, you are in for some serious thinking.

Now, go play football.


Penny's out off, but I would like to know more about this:

"This shows that the so-called mathematical argument he gives is nonsense. Anyone who has actually studied experimental design and advanced Statistics will see that the arguments are gave ---which have been attacked as non-mathematical--show that the design and interpretation of the data by Lion is very poor."

It may well be, but I would expect to see some statistically and/or mathematically based refuting here instead of basing of case studies. Some numbers. For e.g., what percentage of these abovementioned North African blacks are perfect mathematicians. How big is the spatial perception gap between Inuit girls and boys? Isn't it the same as in other ethnies?
And what caused the Icelandic maths outlier when all other countries have the difference in the same way? I don't think that Icelanders are so socially and/or genetically different from other Scandinavian nations.

"So why are the writing and publishing fields dominated by men? Why have very few women won the Nobel Prize for Literature?"(Penny)

There's much more variation in male IQ scores compared to females. Women tend to cluster around the mean, while men have larger numbers of really smart, and really dumb. This is would lead to a larger group of men winning the Nobel prize.

"Could it be that social factors--such as sexism--play a role?" (Penny)

The only people who face structural racism in America are whites (especially white men). So yes, there are times when white women are passed over for discriminatory reasons.

"While you are thinking about this, you might read an ADVANCED statistics book and learn about "extreme tails"
in real world distributions, and poor the above "statistical argument" actually is." (Penny)

Maybe you can teach me Penny? Teach me how long tails or "extream tails" relate to your argument.

Please?

Pretty Please?

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