A study to be published later this year in the British Journal of Psychology says that men are on average five points ahead on IQ tests.
Paul Irwing and Professor Richard Lynn claim the difference grows when the highest IQ levels are considered.
Their research was based on IQ tests given to 80,000 people and a further study of 20,000 students.
So who are these researchers, and what is their background? That turns out to be a question with an interesting answer, thanks to Media Girl who cites a summary from the organization, FAIR:
One of the researchers, Richard Lynn, was a source cited for the racist book "The Bell Curve".
Murray and Herrnstein describe Lynn as "a leading scholar of racial and ethnic differences." Here's a sample of Lynn's thinking on such differences: "What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the 'phasing out' of such peoples.... Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality." (cited in Newsday, 11/9/94)
Elsewhere Lynn makes clear which "incompetent cultures" need "phasing out": "Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contributions to civilization?" (cited in New Republic, 10/31/94)
FAIR goes on in its description of where Lynn gets his funding - from an organization called the Pioneer Fund. Here's their take on the Pioneer Fund:
Nearly all the research that Murray and Herrnstein relied on for their central claims about race and IQ was funded by the Pioneer Fund, described by the London Sunday Telegraph (3/12/89) as a "neo-Nazi organization closely integrated with the far right in American politics." The fund's mission is to promote eugenics, a philosophy that maintains that "genetically unfit" individuals or races are a threat to society.
The Pioneer Fund was set up in 1937 by Wickliffe Draper, a millionaire who advocated sending blacks back to Africa. The foundation's charter set forth the group's missions as "racial betterment" and aid for people "deemed to be descended primarily from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States." (In 1985, after Pioneer Fund grant recipients began receiving political heat, the charter was slightly amended to play down the race angle--GQ, 11/94.)
The fund's first president, Harry Laughlin, was an influential advocate of sterilization for those he considered genetically unfit. In successfully advocating laws that would restrict immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, Laughlin testified before Congress that 83 percent of Jewish immigrants were innately feeble-minded (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94). Another founder, Frederick Osborn, described Nazi Germany's sterilization law as "a most exciting experiment" (Discovery Journal, 7/9/94).
The fund's current president, Harry Weyher, denounces the Supreme Court decision that desegregated schools, saying, "All Brown did was wreck the school system" (GQ, 11/94). The fund's treasurer, John Trevor, formerly served as treasurer for the crypto-fascist Coalition of Patriotic Societies, when it called in 1962 for the release of Nazi war criminals and praised South Africa's "well-reasoned racial policies" (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94).
One of the Pioneer Fund's largest current grantees is Roger Pearson, an activist and publisher who has been associated with international fascist currents. Pearson has written: "If a nation with a more advanced, more specialized or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating, an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide" (Russ Bellant, Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party).
These are the people that financed nearly all The Bell Curve's "data" on the connection between race and intelligence. (Murray and Herrnstein themselves have not been funded, although Weyher says of Herrnstein, "We'd have funded him at the drop of a hat, but he never asked"--GQ, 11/94.)
Take the infamous Chapter 13, which Murray has often claimed is the only chapter that deals with race (far from it--there are at least four chapters focused entirely on race, and the whole book is organized around the concept).
Murray and Herrnstein's claims about the higher IQs of Asians--widely cited in the media as fact--are almost entirely cited to Richard Lynn, a professor of psychology at the University of Ulster.
In the book's acknowledgements, Murray and Herrnstein declare they "benefitted especially from the advice" of Lynn and five other people.
Lynn has received at least $325,000 from the Pioneer Fund (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94). He frequently publishes in eugenicist journals like Mankind Quarterly--published by Roger Pearson and co-edited by Lynn himself--and Personality and Individual Differences, edited by Pioneer grantee Hans Eysenck. Among Lynn's writings cited in The Bell Curve are "The Intelligence of the Mongoloids" and "Positive Correlations Between Head Size and IQ."
The description of some of the other researchers who receive grants from the Pioneer fund is eye-opening, to say the least. So do these folks remind you of anyone? Steve Gilliard notes that the last prominent group of people to advocate eugenics were the Nazis, whose efforts at eugenics-based genocide were justly rewarded following WWII at Nuremburg. However, the Nazis certainly weren't the first to advocate or apply eugenics. We can trace the eugenics movement's history to Anglo-American biology and psychology.
The term "eugenics" was first used by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin. Eugenics was defined as "the study of the agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally" (cited in Guthrie's Even the Rat Was White, 2004). The intellectual roots of Galton's eugenics goes back arguably to Plato's Republic. Galton eventually went on to establish the Eugenics Society of Great Britain in the early 1900s and shortly thereafter began publishing a journal called the Eugenics Review. Around the same time the American Eugenics Society was founded. A number of these eugenics advocates gravitated toward the early IQ tests - which were used and abused to support their thesis that those of Western European stock were superior to those of other races. By arguing that individuals of African descent (as well as those of American Indian and Mexican-American descent) were intellectually inferior, they could advocate various restrictive laws regarding marriage between races, as well as the legalization of involuntary sterilization of those deemed "unfit."
The eugenics movement was largely discredited over time, namely due to the shoddiness of much of the research purported to support its thesis, as well as legitimate questions regarding the definition and measurement of intelligence. On the former, it became quite apparent that individuals who didn't share the same educational and socioeconomic advantages and experiences of a predominantly white upper class and upper middle class would be at a disadvantage from the get-go. Also, it turns out, as Guthrie (2004) points out, that cultural factors could influence test results - for example kids from the Dakota tribe considered it impolite to answer questions in front of others who might not know the answer. The question of what actually composes intelligence is also rather thorny - Howard Gardner has perhaps come as close as anyone to developing a comprehensive theory of multiple intelligences; and his theory goes to underscore the limitations of standard IQ tests (which typically measure spacial and verbal ability and little else).
In any case, eugenicists continue to rear their ugly heads from time to time, and find plenty of willing recipients for their message among America's and England's right-wingers. A good primer of eugenics can be found here.
In any event, I find myself highly skeptical about the results reported by Irwing and Lynn on both empirical and theoretical grounds. Theoretically, I am convinced that intelligence is considerably more complex than what is presumably measured on IQ tests. Empirically, I see a number of plausible alternative explanations to the findings presented by the authors - among them variations in academic and social experiences between boys and girls that could influence performance on spacial and verbal tasks.