IQ and Testosterone? (Was Re: Patriarchy...)

Bryant (
26 Aug 1996 14:30:49 -0600

In article <4vsm13$>, Susan <> wrote:
> (Bryant) wrote:

>>I've seen the differences in IQ subscale scores used in this way before.
>>Men are "better at math" because their spatial skills tend to
>>be higher, even in cultures that don't teach math.
>[susan responded, in part:]
>Though don't rule out the effects of culture here.

This reminds me. I was told in the hallway about a study that
administered testosterone injections to males after giving them an IQ
test, and then re-tested them. The story goes thusly: the fellows'
spatial/math scores jumped up, but their verbal skills fell through the
floor. I can't find a reference to this "study" (if it exists) in the
library computer.

Has anybody heard of this research?

>> And MRI data show that
>>men and women use different parts of their brains to do the same tasks.
>>But I've also seen fine science done by female brains, and agree with you
>>that telling women not to bother is unfortunate.
>I'm not sure I follow this. Are you arguing that there is a connection
>between spatial skills, differential brain use, and doing science?

No, no, no. I was clumsily trying to argue against that sort of notion.
There is good evidence that females and males use their brains
differently to figure out similar problems. I have *not* seen any
evidence that this translates to one way of solving problems being better
than the other. (Evidence might be out there, but I'm not aware of any.)
The ol' boy's club at Harvard (forgive me, Dr. [Ms.] Margulis!) have nothing
on female professors at UNM's bio dept, in my opinion.

>And this is the crux of it, I think. As a culture, we are all to ready
>to commit the fallacy you referred to, that
>"biological=natural=inevitable=good." Even if something could be
There's the most sinister of the assumptions. Inevitability is
envoked too quickly. Proclivity or urge-to does not constitute