Sex differences in mental test scores, variability, and numbers of high-scoring individuals

Science  07 Jul 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5220, pp. 41-45
DOI: 10.1126/science.7604277


Sex differences in central tendency, variability, and numbers of high scores on mental tests have been extensively studied. Research has not always seemed to yield consistent results, partly because most studies have not used representative samples of national populations. An analysis of mental test scores from six studies that used national probability samples provided evidence that although average sex differences have been generally small and stable over time, the test scores of males consistently have larger variance. Except in tests of reading comprehension, perceptual speed, and associative memory, males typically outnumber females substantially among high-scoring individuals.

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