Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Women Are Cleverer Than Men

This is the essay I was required to submit on the past Monday after the Maybank Investment Bank entrance test last week.

Let us start from the definition of the words in the subject. “Clever” means quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; whereas “woman” is defined as an adult female human, and, “man”, adult male human according to Oxford dictionary. The use of “adults” implies that women and men refer to fully grown and developed persons both physically and mentally. Hence, it is clear that the following discussion does not apply to young boy and girls, who do not meet the condition of being an adult.

There can be many measurements on the intelligence of a person. Commonly, we tend to measure the intelligence of a child by looking at his/her talent in music, sports, reading, etc. For students, we tend to measure the level of intelligence based on the exam results, the school activities, leadership skills and so forth. Since we are now discussing the level of intelligence of adults, I suggest that the caliber in career may provide us some insight on the subject topic.

I believe that women and men are born to be equally intelligent, but not in the same perspective. While many claim that it is a gender bias, I believe that men are born to be better in analytical, spatial and logical areas. Many scientific researches have been conducted to measure the intelligence of a person, and it has been proven that in general, men are more capable of enduring the frustrating calculation works and capturing the overview of certain projects or systems. Former Harvard President Lawrence Summers stated early last year that males have a higher intrinsic aptitude in science and engineering. The fact that most engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians are men might be a hint that the result is credible.

As for women, they are born to be better in social ability. It is usually the nature for women to be more caring, tender, and supportive compared to men. They are able to express their care, and lend their shoulders to those who need a listener. This causes women to appear to be more sociable, as it is easier for them to gain trust from others. Besides, women also tend to be more adept than men in language skills. This is embedded in the women’s nature: as they show their care to others, they unconsciously utilize their language skills in expressing their feelings.

However, we cannot overlook other aspects like upbringing, education, instinctual and societal influences as they have a lot to do with the seeming intelligence differences between the two sexes. We cannot deny that a person intelligence level is much affected by these factors as well. The culture, the tradition or the upbringing of a family can determine whether or not the children can shine in the future. In some countries such as China and India, men are the sole bread winner of a family, and women are the housewives taking care of the needs of the family. As such, the little girls were not only infused by their parents that they should not strive as hard as boys, but there are numerous models before them such as their mothers, whose function had clearly demonstrated how they would become in the future.

I think this reasonably explains why the numbers of top female executives, scientists, chefs, artists etc nowadays are not as many as male’s. Women were not given the equal opportunity as those given to men. Men are always trained to lead the family, whereas women are expected to be submissive. Nevertheless, as globalization is taking place, the idea of gender equality has been imbuing the mindset of the mentioned countries gradually, stressing that women should be treated the same as men. If we assume that males and females are equally clever, then the number of successful persons should be equally distributed between these two genders; and we see that it is happening- the number of successful women keeps increasing. Some good exemplars for this are emerging 21st century female prime ministers like Julia Gillard for Australia and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for Philippines, female scientists clad with Noble Prize honor like Chien Shiung-Wu who radically changed scientific views on behavior of nuclear particles and Rosalind Franklin who discovered the crystal structure of DNA, in major corporations, we see top female executives like Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods and Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO of Xerox.

Education plays a pivotal role as well. Back to a hundred years ago, females were not given the same level of education compared to males as well. In contrast, today we see that everyone has the right to receive standard education in almost every country, and in some countries, female students do outperform male students with a great margin. Also, in the business world, many women have proven themselves to be capable to hold important positions in large corporations. Examples of top paid female CEO are Carol Meyrowitz of TJX who earned USD 11.1 million in 2008 and Andrea Jung of Avon Products who took home USD 11.8 million in 2008. While these do not show that women are cleverer, they serve as counter examples to the saying that men are cleverer than women.

Last but not least, self discipline, self assessment, self improvement and emotional intelligence are key determinants of how successful a person is. If a person possesses a learning spirit, humbling oneself in learning as much as possible, success will be realized sooner or later. A person can be born to be extraordinarily clever, but if he/she does not give the best shot in everything he/she does, an ordinary person can definitely do better- with diligence, passion, and endurance. Men and women can both be very resilient; the unforgettable and respectable figures are Stephen Hawking and Wilma Rudolph, for example.

In conclusion, I believe that males and females may outperform each other in certain aspect, but overall they are equally clever. However, there is almost no way we can absolutely quantify the level of intelligence of a person, since most measurements are affected by other known and unknown, as well as dependent factors. Perhaps women are indeed cleverer than men; perhaps it is another way round. However I would say that gender is not a main factor to determine if a person is clever.

All in all, it does not serve the point to argue which gender is cleverer as male and female are created to complement each other.

Yea, this is the essay. Actually I thought of giving up this essay as I feel that they might not appreciate what I really write. But at the end, I did submit as I feel I am obliged to finish the task given.

My writing skill has been deteriorating so do comment, I wish I can improve this essay.


Sophos said...

Yeah, males are generally better in spatial ability, logic... while girls, memory, language...

Sadly, intelligence are usually measured by one's spatial ability, logic, analytical skills, mathematics... where males, obviously, perform better.

Of course we can't deny the presence of competent women that are also good in these areas, though minimal.

Social ability like caring for one another, cooperative, supportive, good at listening...however, does not contribute to the scores of "modern intelligence". That makes women less "intelligent".

Anyhow, Eve came out from Adam. So Man has to be better than woman. Yet woman is needed to balance/complete a man.

Sorry to not comment about your English but about the points you mentioned. Hehe.

nostalgia.jesskang said...

I strongly like your point about "modern intelligence"!