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Intelligence, Biology and the Environment

             Critically discuss the different ways sex differences in intelligence are influenced by biological and environmental factors.
             The sex differences in intelligence between men and women have been argued by many researchers over the past decades. However, there is not much substantial evidence to support many of the theories concerning sex differences in intelligence. The results that demonstrate male superiority in some aspects of intelligence cannot be considered to be significant as most of the scores proving to be in favour of the "strongest sex" range from small to medium, effect the size of the difference (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974). This essay will consider some of the biological and environmental factors that may affect sex differences in both sexes based on previous research. Theories in this area range from evolutionary, differences in the brain size, high testosterone levels in males to socioeconomic environmental factors that may have some effect on the sex differences in intelligence. .
             Further research in this area is necessary to accurately determine to what extent biological and environmental factors influence sex differences although no results of large effect size of difference have been found so far. The only results that demonstrate some significance (medium size) and are in favour of men are those concerning spatial abilities but do not necessarily represent general intelligence. Knowing the right reasons that cause these differences in some aspects of intelligence could provide grounds for development of new techniques and stimuli that may help improve some abilities and promote general intelligence among both sexes.
             During the past hundred years, researchers who investigated sex differences on general intelligence between men and women found insignificant results (Terman, 1916; Spearman, 1927; Court, 1983). However, Irwing & Lynn (2005) argued that the results of previous researches had not been analysed using meta – analyses technique (working out size of statistical findings of a large number of studies).

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