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Pink, Blue and IQ

Rosa's fabulous entry reminded me of another story from the past. When the Stanford Binet IQ Test was being revised in the early 1940's, early results found women, on average, scoring higher than men. The test developers quickly (and by the way accurately) assumed that "intellect can be defined and measured in such a manner as to make either sex appear superior”. To “produce a scale which will yield comparable IQs for the sexes," the test developers "sought to avoid using test items showing large sex differences in percents passing". That is exactly what they did. And guess what, they ended up with a test where women's average IQ was 100 as was men's. On bad days, I wonder what would have happened, if the initial results showed men scoring higher than women.
(The quotes come from a 1942 book The Revision of the Stanford-Binet Scale by Quinn McNemar.)


I feel that women and men are comparable in intelligence. I have been a Registered Professional Nurse for 30 years. I feel that you should be encouraging you students to pursue nursing or medicine instead of non-hunaministic interests :)

Stella E. Wischmeyer, MSN, RN

I would like to respond to Stella who seems to be criticizing FairerScience for encouraging students to pursue "non-humanistic" interests. As someone who has been working an entire career to increase awareness among the public about the contributions that engineers and scientists make to society...that is people, I can only sigh and understand that we have a long way to go.

Here are but a few examples of what engineers have contributed to humans: clean water; the sophisticated equipment nurses and doctors use to conduct surgery; prosthetic devices that allow people without limbs to function well; pacemakers; the materials that are used to replace hips and knees; safe transportation in the air, on land and on sea; communications at countless levels that allow people to connect with each other. The list goes on and on and on.

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