2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Culture and Society

Dicks: Clever - A Woman Writes

2 September 2005

Intelligence can be a bit of an albatross, and the media really love to whip out the blunderbuss and take some pot shots at it whenever they can. For the third week in a row, it’s a story – first A-Levels (results too good, students appear to be too clever, or is it that the exams are a doddle), then GCSEs (results good, students smart, no it’s all a big sham, for shame, although we’re not sure upon whom). This week, it’s some tiresome piffle about IQ tests. Apparently, research shows that men are more intelligent than women. Get Buerk on the phone! Vindication is nigh!

IQ tests have always been a slightly potty idea. It’s indicative of that particular cul-de-sac of human nature which yearns for every amorphous, un-pin-downable thing to be squeezed into a bland numeric figure, like a voluptuous arse into Courteney Cox’s child-sized jeans. Anyone who’s ever glanced at an IQ test knows that they consist mostly of baffling logic puzzles involving angular shapes and patterns – like Fisher Price blocks for geniuses. (Geniuii?) The only sane answer to such ludicrousness is ‘But intelligence in all its wondrous complexity cannot be measured by the manner in which one arranges some trapezoids – how dare you endeavour to reduce, nay, to *debase* the idiosyncratic glory of my intellect with such trogolydytically blunt tools’. (Delivered with an incredulous mug to camera.) Like the apocryphal philosophy student who, when asked in an exam to define courage, wrote ‘This is’ and left the room, this should get you full marks instantly for searing through the whole racket with your mighty brain. A whole galaxy of gold stars for you, and a big fluffy Einstein wig, and a pot of the money such gumption of the grey matter should incur in the presence of a just and fair God.

But to indulge Professor Richard Lynn and his chum Dr Paul Irwing for a moment, the bald statistics of their study show that at the highest level of IQ, men leave women standing as beside a car whose flat tyre they haven’t a hope of changing. They assert that until the age of 14, the sexes are neck and neck. Then it all starts to go horribly awry for women, who commence stuffing up their little heads with gossip and makeup tips and horoscopes and kittens. Actually, no, there’s still not much in it – it’s at genius level where men really get ahead. An IQ score of 125 represents approximately first-class degree standard, and there are twice as many men in their sample with this score as there are women. For every woman with a whopping genius-score of 155, there are 5.5 men. Five and one-fifth men! (The study doesn’t reveal which fifth, but we’re certainly not going to go there. At least, not while the children are still up.)

The boffins are keen to close any of the Buerkian gobs preparing to open in outrage, given that as they say ‘women (are) dramatically overtaking men in educational attainment and making very rapid advances in terms of occupational achievement’. Apparently, women can achieve more than men at the same level of IQ because they work harder and are more focussed, and don’t spend half their working day surreptitiously wanking over doctored images of Kelly Brook being taken from behind by a wild boar.

So this all explains, apparently, why there aren’t very many Nobel prize-winning women or female chess grandmasters. But we have two notes of dissent to voice. Firstly, dippy beshorted uberblonde Jessica Simpson purportedly has an IQ of 130, and she thinks buffalo wings are harvested from flocks of buffalo that flit from tree to tree. Secondly, it could be said that men are merely better at IQ tests than women because of their nerdy eagerness and testosterone-fuelled competitiveness (yes it could). Consider the cat; throw her a stick, and she will look at you with withering contempt – not because she couldn’t fetch it for you, but because she cannot understand why you’d throw the thing away in the first place if you wanted it so much. Thirdly – well, we may not be able to do fractions but we give great metaphor.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

© The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved