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I wanna know your thoughts on this issue. The issue is about cognitive differences between the sexes, which is always a hot anthropological issue. Recently, Sheril Kirshenbaum from The Intersection posted some examples of NSF’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 report. The results of the report indicate that females are much less adept in answering science and engineering questions compared to males.

Don’t believe me? Here’s some egregiously outstanding examples:

The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move. (Correct answer: True)

    85% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    75% of all females answered this correctly.

All radioactivity is man-made. (Correct answer: False)

    77% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    64% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

The universe began with a huge explosion. (Correct answer: True)

    40% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    27% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

The center of the Earth is very hot. (Correct answer: True)

    85% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    75% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

Electrons are smaller than atoms. (Correct answer: True)

    61% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    48% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

How long does it take for the Earth to go around the Sun? (Correct answer: One year)

    66% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    46% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

Lasers work by focusing sound waves. (Correct answer: False)

    62% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    32% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals. (Correct answer: True)

    47% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    40% of all females surveyed answered this correctly.

A doctor tells a couple that their genetic makeup means that they’ve got one in four chances of having a child with an inherited illness. Does this mean that if their first child has the illness, the next three will not? (Correct answer: No)

    90% of all males surveyed answered this correctly.
    84% of all females surveyed answered this correctly

There’s been a lot of discussion on threads of each of Sheril’s posts, where people questioned if this disparity between the sexes was because the test makers were male, or something about the test environment affected the ability of females to perform as well. These situations could be a factor, but when about 75% of of female respondents incorrectly answer how the universe was started, or when over half of females surveyed don’t know the span of 1 cycle of the Earth around the Sun… I begin to think if there’s something much larger going on — it could be biological, or it could be something cultural. What do you think?

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