Following Richard Lucas’s letter about the gender pay gap (3 August) I note that girls out-perform boys in education at all levels. Why is that?
Firstly, boys develop more slowly than girls but for longer. Hence boys get discouraged in mixed-sex classes.
Secondly, boys need the gruffer approach, not available in today’s feminised system. It’s the testosterone. Thirdly, men and boys are actively denigrated. “Blond” jokes are banned but it is OK to lampoon men.
Imagine what would happen to the girls if thrust into the gruff, all-boys, “blond joke” environment of the past. Then pity the boys thrust into today’s girly, male denigratory mix, let alone the teachers faced with both sexes simultaneously.
The solution is to return to single-sex classes.
Doreen Kimura is a world expert on sex differences. Fortuitously, she is a woman since no man could report as she does.
In her book, Sex and Cognition, she says men outperform women by half a standard error in maths aptitude tests.
Consequently only about 30 per cent of women will be as good at that as is the average man and there will be more than 3.5 times as many men as women in the top 2.5 per cent of ability in this vector.
Similarly, but more so, Kimura says men outperform women in three-dimensional imaginary rotation by one standard error. Consequently, only one woman in six is likely to be as good in that vector as is the average man.
Kimura also finds women outperform men in some other vectors, such as arithmetic and memory and (here I make a wild guess, Kimura does not report) – the vital task of child care.
Respect by all means but equal we are not. We should abandon these stupid “equality” targets, do the best to avoid bias based on expectation, note that men and women have different strengths and preferences and select/pay accordingly.
Richard Lucas is definitively wrong, and appears to be living in a previous century.
Why give space to misguided throwbacks?
St Mary’s Wynd