It’s the argument that’s been rumbling since the dawn of time – are men or women really smarter? Who fares better when it comes to numbers? And are females really better at expressing their emotions?
Armed with data from people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and education levels, we decided to settle the conundrum once and for all and crown the smarter sex with the results from our aptitude tests.
The voice of reason
Popular opinion may state otherwise, but our data shows that women are actually more logical than men, at least before they get older. In fact, women scored an average of 63% in our logical reasoning tests, compared with an average of 59% for men.
Interestingly, these scores were almost completely reversed after the age of 55, with men scoring 64% and women coming in behind at 59%.
In logical reasoning tests, women scored a higher average of 63%, suggesting the idea that men are more logical is a myth.
You win some; you lose some
When it comes to sums, it seems it’s men who have the answers. The results from our numerical reasoning tests showed you’re more likely to do well if you’re male (they scored an average of 53%) – just beating the women, who came in at 52%.
But don’t get too cocky guys, as both sexes showed a significant decline in mathematical ability after the age of 55. In fact, when you hit your fifties it doesn’t matter whether you have X or Y chromosomes: the standard score for the same test was just 32%, with the males dragging down the average quite significantly. Best to hold on to those calculators then…
It’s true that men tend to perform better at maths, but only when they’re younger. Perhaps it’s time for a spot of Sudoku?
It’s good to talk
Women reign supreme as the sex with the gift of the gab, scoring 66% in verbal reasoning tests, while men lagged behind at 63%.
But the good news is, unlike most of the other skills we tested, women’s verbal reasoning only gets better with age. The women surveyed who were age 55 or over managed to achieve 85%, compared to an average of 68% from their younger counterparts.
Women are not just better at communicating; the gap grows with age
A learning curve
Unsurprisingly, education had a resoundingly positive impact. The higher the level of education, the higher the average score, irrespective of gender. That being said, male PHD students scored consistently better than female doctoral students by an average of 7%.
However, there was one curveball. Female high school graduates with a General Certificate of Secondary Education Diploma fared better in both logical and numerical tests, beating off male competition by 12% when it came to logic, and 13% in numerical testing.
Crowning a cognitive champion
Drum roll please…
After extensive testing, we can finally reveal that by a margin of just 2%, women are intellectually superior.
It’s interesting to note that females tend to reach their intellectual peaks earlier (between age 18–24) while males mature with age and hit their stride at age 45. But with both sexes declining in cognitive function after the age of 54, it’s important to flaunt it while you’ve got it!
Why not check out our other similar survey: Which is the Best University in the UK?