Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's Got To Be The Test

Neat historical tidbit from the G-Bitch, citing "The Gendered Society" by Michael S. Kimmel:
Test scores were no better as indicators. At the turn of the century, women were found to be scoring higher on comprehensive examinations at New York University. Since scientists “knew” that women were not as smart as men, some other explanation had to be sought. “After all, men are more intelligent than women, examination papers or no examination papers,” commented the dean of the college, R. Turner. “Women have better memories and study harder, that’s all. In tasks requiring patience and industry, women win out. But when a man is both patient and industrious, he beats a woman any day.” (It is interesting to see that women’s drive, ambition, and industriousness are used against them, rather than labeling the problem as men’s impulsiveness, impatience, and laziness). In the 1920s, when IQ tests were first invented, women scored higher on those tests as well. So the experimenters changed the questions. (31)

And the footnote to that:
Turner is cited in “South Side Observer, 29 April 1896; C.A. Dwyer, “The Role of Tests and Their Construction in Producing Apparently Sex-Related Differences,” in “Sex-Related Differences in Cognitive Functioning,” M. Wittig and A. Peterson, eds. (New York: Academic Press, 1979), p. 342.

Via Feminist Law Profs, who write that "Just Because You Are A Paranoid Feminist Doesn’t Mean The Sexists Aren’t Out To Get You." Heh.

That being said, my LSAT scores, of course, are unimpeachably accurate indicators of my legal intelligence.

UPDATE: G-Bitch wants you to know that the true props should go to Ceejay, who was the original source for the quote.

1 comment:

G Bitch said...

Thanks but I have to give props to Ceejay who sent the comment to a post of mine. Check her out at
(I couldn't get this comment up at Feminist Law Professors.)