Psychologists have found a justification for the male strangehold on Nobel prizes – there are twice as many men as women in the brightest 2% of the population.
But although men may win the top prizes, they cannot claim a clear-cut victory in an intellectual battle of the sexes. The study shows that men also cluster at the opposite extreme, with twice as many men as women stuck in the least intelligent 2%.
So now let's ask a question: what percentage of Nobel winners are female?
There was no significant difference in the average intelligence of men and women, when all the test results were taken together. However, the analysis showed that men were far more likely to be be found at extremes of the intelligence scale. At the time of the study, men had been awarded 545 out of the 557 Nobel prizes for science. [Emphasis mine]
So great! That's solved the reason that women don't win Nobel Prizes. Well, except for this dratted sentence from the article I'm quoting:
[T]here are twice as many men as women in the brightest 2% of the population.
There have been twelve.
So what does one make of such disparity? Well, I'll tell you what: I'm going to suggest that this study proves, once and for all, that sexism is the overwhelming reason that women do not achieve at the same level as men. After all, this study argues that women should only account for one-third of Nobel Prizes rather than one-half -- a difference of about 93 winners. My theory accounts for the other 174 women who didn't win the prize, but would have in a truly egalitarian society.
When women are winning the Nobel prize at least a third of the time, come back, and we'll talk about whether there are differences in the raw intelligence of women and men. It will still be a stupid and wrongheaded argument, but at least we can pretend at that point that gender is a meaningful factor. Until we get a lot closer to equality, though, I think it's doubtful that we're going to get the right answers anyhow.