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Bias and sampling error in sex difference research

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Douglas Wahlsten, Visiting Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Benbow argues that, because she can find no environmental differences to explain a small sex difference in Scholastic Aptitude Test-Mathematics (SAT-M) scores in a highly select sample of volunteers from the top 3% of seventh-grade children, we should therefore look to biology for an explanation. The reasoning here is reminiscent of arguments about racial differences in intelligence used by Jensen (1969), who declared unabashedly (and prematurely) that "Compensatory education has been tried and it apparently has failed" (p. 2) and then used this to support his assertion that differences must be largely genetic. [See also Jensen: "The Nature of the Black/White Difference on Various Psychometric Tests" BBS 8(2) 1985.] However, there is no necessary relationship between the ease of modifying a characteristic by changing the environment and the extent of influence by chromosomal or genetic variation. Any evidence for a biological source of a sex difference in SAT-M scores must come from well-controlled studies of the biology of the children.

Additional Information

Publication
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1988, 11, 214.
Language: English
Date: 1988
Keywords
Psychometric tests, Scholastic tests, SAT, Sex differences, Critical response