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Am Psychol. 1997 Oct;52(10):1091-102.

Sex differences in intelligence. Implications for education.

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Department of Psychology, California State University, San Bernardino 92407, USA.


Sex differences in intelligence is among the most politically volatile topics in contemporary psychology. Although no single finding has unanimous support, conclusions from multiple studies suggest that females, on average, score higher on tasks that require rapid access to and use of phonological and semantic information in long-term memory, production and comprehension of complex prose, fine motor skills, and perceptual speed. Males, on average, score higher on tasks that require transformations in visual-spatial working memory, motor skills involved in aiming, spatiotemporal responding, and fluid reasoning, especially in abstract mathematical and scientific domains. Males, however, are also over-represented in the low-ability end of several distributions, including mental retardation, attention disorders, dyslexia, stuttering, and delayed speech. A psychobiosocial model that is based on the inextricable links between the biological bases of intelligence and environmental events is proposed as an alternative to nature-nurture dichotomies. Societal implications and applications to teaching and learning are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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