The Gender Gap in Extreme Math Intelligence

In tests of extreme math intelligence, boys still outscore girls in the US but the gap is closing fast

Whether this is because boys are innately better at math or if girls are socially conditioned not to be math superstars remains an open question. But the latest round of test data strongly suggests the difference rests with the latter.

And which data strongly suggests this? If the gap has narrowed, maybe it’s due to revisions of the SAT, with the trend towards newer tests being easier, lowering the effective math ceiling for high-scoring boys. It’s not that girls are getting better, but the test has become easier, allowing more women to score in the top .1%. The pre-1995 version is regarded as harder than the 2005 revision.

But second, why is the gender gap, whether it’s IQ, math, science, or technology, a problem that merits so much attention? No one complains that tall people are over-represented in the NBA, but everyone gets all worked up about women being underrepresented in the sciences or about there not being enough minorities in Silicon Valley tech companies (apparently Indians and Asians don’t count as diversity according to the left though). Now imagine in order to accommodate players of all heights and to ‘narrow the height gap’, the NBA were required to make the baskets only 4-feet high. Attendance, ratings, and profits would suffer considerably, but at least vertical equality could be achieved. It sounds sounds pretty absurd when you frame it that way, but it’s no different than how the left puts equality ahead of results. When the left bemoans how Silicon Valley is not diverse enough, they want successful companies to ‘lower their baskets’ at the expense of shareholders, company culture, and overall corporate well-being.