Answered on Quora.
The answers below are not completely correct, as they leave out the fact that for a long time, women had IQ’s that were 4.5 points below men. This was a longstanding fact of science for decades. Sexist comments that men make like saying women have “little tiny pea-brains” may be rooted in this.
Actually I think men think women are stupid because women think in a much different way than we do, and we think the way they think and stuff they think about is stupid. However, a female friend recently told me that women think that men are idiots too, probably because of the way we think.
Women have always matched or surpassed men on verbal IQ, but they always lagged behind in nonverbal. The “directionally impaired” woman is a common joke that may have a biological basis. On the other hand, I have been lost in good-sized cities at nighttime with no map, and I was still able to orient myself somehow and figure out how to get out of town in the direction I wanted to go in. I can do that even easier in daytime. I told my mother this and she was astounded. “How can you get around in a strange town or city without even a map?”
However, James Flynn has proven that in the past 3–4 years, women have closed the gap with men. They still lag somewhat in nonverbal skills, but their nonverbal has risen to the point where, combined with women’s advantage in verbal IQ, women now have precisely the same IQ that men have.
And that IQ in the US would be 100, the US average, I believe. However, if you were in Laos, on the same scale, men and women would average 89 IQ. In India, men and women average 82 IQ. In parts of Africa, men and women have IQ’s as low as 70. So they don’t always come out to 100.
Some articles have said that women are smarter than men now, but that’s not really true. They only surpass men by .1-.2 percentage points. The reason for the rise, says Flynn, is our increasingly technological society which is actually making women smarter on nonverbal skills.
I have met quite a few bright women. We were in a gifted program that needed 132 IQ to get in, and there were plenty of girls in that program. I have met a number of women with IQ’s in the 140’s, and I have known two women with IQ’s of 156. Women with Genius level IQ’s are not particularly rare, and some of their minds are stunning to behold, almost like one of the Great Wonders on Earth.
Answered on Quora.