I do not think the stats on higher education are related to intelligence- let me make that clear.
Besides intelligence being a controversial and fuzzy issue (are there different types of intelligence? Does EQ count as a form of intelligence?),
being a good student does not necessarily equal intelligence.
I think we can all think of people we've known who were brilliant, and yet so lazy they never did anything recognizable in their lives, leaving that
intelligence an unmanifested potential....... or on the other side, the people that really aren't very intelligent at all, but work like MoFo's and
As for what areas men group towards more than women-
Women are just as likely as men to graduate in the fields of Science and Social sciences, business and law. Education is another popular field –
in some countries, nine out of ten education graduates are women. In contrast, men continue to dominate the field of Engineering, manufacturing and
construction. They are also far more likely to get degrees in Computing.
Research indicates that the preferences are developed in high school.
I'm reading some that claim that is due to the teaching methods and attitudes of teachers, but am aware of the claims of our brains working
differently. -That could become more evident in adolescence.
Neurologists sometimes say that the difference they see cannot for sure indicate strengths or weaknesses in these areas though. The belief that they
are inherent dependant upon sex could be a "self fulfilling prophecy" though.... with everyone beleiving this, it could be subtly influencing the
attitudes of teachers.
But more evident is that more boys are getting in trouble- arrests and school suspensions more numerous and effecting their acceptation into
Females (from toddler age up) have on average better social and behavioral skills. This may be part of their draw and success in school.
As early as Kindergarten, being unruly and disobedient is treated differently in boys than girls, because it is partly how we teach boys to be
masculine. A good boy stears himself , a good girl obeys the rules.
A behavior in a girl will be seen as a sign of a "psychological problem", whereas the same in a boy is seen as the sign of "strong will."
Where this becomes relevant is the findings later on, through high school and college, that girls work harder. They spend more time on homework, and
drafting papers, while boys spend more time on games and leisure activities. The females are highly affected by the feedback they get from professors,
positive motivating them highly, negative easily destroying their self confidence.
The females are found to be much harsher critics of themself than males. Males tend to overestimate themselves and their abilities, women tend to be
either more realistic, or under estimate themselves.... so they simply put in more effort as result.
Another interesting thing I came across in looking up this subject is that many young males had the impression that they had other possibilities open
to them (for making a livable salary) if they don't go to or finish college- in areas such as construction, manufactoring and travel. Whereas women
don't share that optimism.
Some researchers suggested this is where the growing economic problems could be called a crisis of men- because it is in these areas specifically that
there just isn't that same amount of work as there used to be!
Of course there are the added motivations we are familiar with-
More single mothers that need a better paying career.
Women not wanting to be dependant upon a man for life.
But because we watch these trends change in drastic ways over a small period of time (like going from much more men than women in the fifties, to
the opposite just 30 years later), I don't think this has anything to do with biological evolution- it has to be more like behavioral evolution,
cultural evolution. This isn't about being born with more or less intelligence, but rather, what you choose to do with it.
Women were just as intelligent as men before, but because they knew that did not bode well for their chances of survival and reproduction if made
evident (being seen as emasculating by men),
they learned the famous "womens wiles"- subtle manipulations, how to "make a man believe it was his own idea", or to be that "great woman behind
the great man", who he relies on in private for wise advice and guidance, but who puts on an act of grace, purity, neutrality, and submission in
The intelligent women still reproduced abundantly, often with the most powerful males, and taught their daughters how to do so as well.
Once the door opened for other options, they dropped that. We're kinda seeing the race between the tortoise and the hare now.