Thursday, January 18, 2018

Darwin, Evolution, and Human Gender Differences (or Darwin the Evil Sexist!)

To see the abominably ignorant and crazed science-denying state of our civilisation, you need only look at this interview of Jordan Peterson:

This stems from the insanity caused by the Liberal/Leftist cult of blank slateism, social constructivism, and the denial of biological reality and even basic principles of Darwinian evolution.

Let us run an experiment, and go back to what Darwin said about biological differences between men and women caused by evolution.

Charles Darwin – the discover of evolution by natural selection – wrote a book called The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), and a second edition of the book was published in 1874. I quote from the second edition.

Chapter 19 is called the “Secondary Sexual Characters of Man.” In this chapter, Darwin noted some truly sexist, bigoted biological differences between men and women:
There can be little doubt that the greater size and strength of man, in comparison with woman, together with his broader shoulders, more developed muscles, rugged outline of body, his greater courage and pugnacity, are all due in chief part to inheritance from his half-human male ancestors. These characters would, however, have been preserved or even augmented during the long ages of man’s savagery, by the success of the strongest and boldest men, both in the general struggle for life and in their contests for wives; a success which would have ensured their leaving a more numerous progeny than their less favored brethren. It is not probable that the greater strength of man was primarily acquired through the inherited effects of his having worked harder than woman for his own subsistence and that of his family; for the women in all barbarous nations are compelled to work at least as hard as the men. With civilized people the arbitrament of battle for the possession of the women has long ceased; on the other hand, the men, as a general rule, have to work harder than the women for their joint subsistence, and thus their greater strength will have been kept up.

Difference in the Mental Powers of the two Sexes. —With respect to differences of this nature between man and woman, it is probable that sexual selection has played a highly important part. I am aware that some writers doubt whether there is any such inherent difference; but this is at least probable from the analogy of the lower animals which present other secondary sexual characters. No one disputes that the bull differs in disposition from the cow, the wild-boar from the sow, the stallion from the mare, and, as is well known to the keepers of menageries, the males of the larger apes from the females. Woman seems to differ from man in mental disposition, chiefly in her greater tenderness and less selfishness; and this holds good even with savages, as shown by a well-known passage in Mungo Park’s Travels, and by statements made by many other travelers. Woman, owing to her maternal instincts, displays these qualities towards her infants in an eminent degree; therefore it is likely that she would often extend them towards her fellow-creatures. Man is the rival of other men; he delights in competition, and this leads to ambition which passes too easily into selfishness. These latter qualities seem to be his natural and unfortunate birthright. It is generally admitted that with woman the powers of intuition, of rapid perception, and perhaps of imitation, are more strongly marked than in man; but some, at least, of these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a past and lower state of civilization.

The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary genius,’ that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.

Amongst the half-human progenitors of man, and amongst savages, there have been struggles between the males during many generations for the possession of the females. But mere bodily strength and size would do little for victory, unless associated with courage, perseverance, and determined energy. With social animals, the young males have to pass through many a contest before they win a female, and the older males have to retain their females by renewed battles. They have, also, in the case of mankind, to defend their females, as well as their young, from enemies of all kinds, and to hunt for their joint subsistence. But to avoid enemies or to attack them with success, to capture wild animals, and to fashion weapons, requires the aid of the higher mental faculties, namely, observation, reason, invention, or imagination. These various faculties will thus have been continually put to the test and selected during manhood; they will, moreover, have been strengthened by use during this same period of life. Consequently, in accordance with the principle often alluded to, we might expect that they would at least tend to be transmitted chiefly to the male offspring at the corresponding period of manhood.

Now, when two men are put into competition, or a man with a woman, both possessed of every mental quality in equal perfection, save that one has higher energy, perseverance, and courage, the latter will generally become more eminent in every pursuit, and will gain the ascendancy. He may be said to possess genius—for genius has been declared by a great authority to be patience; and patience, in this sense, means unflinching, undaunted perseverance. But this view of genius is perhaps deficient; for without the higher powers of the imagination and reason, no eminent success can be gained in many subjects. These latter faculties, as well as the former, will have been developed in man, partly through sexual selection,—that is, through the contest of rival males, and partly through natural selection,—that is, from success in the general struggle for life; and as in both cases the struggle will have been during maturity, the characters gained will have been transmitted more fully to the male than to the female offspring. It accords in a striking manner with this view of the modification and re-inforcement of many of our mental faculties by sexual selection, that, firstly, they notoriously undergo a considerable change at puberty, and, secondly, that eunuchs remain throughout life inferior in these same qualities. Thus man has ultimately become superior to woman. It is, indeed, fortunate that the law of the equal transmission of characters to both sexes prevails with mammals; otherwise it is probable that man would have become as superior in mental endowment to woman, as the peacock is in ornamental plumage to the peahen.

It must be borne in mind that the tendency in characters acquired by either sex late in life, to be transmitted to the same sex at the same age, and of early acquired characters to be transmitted to both sexes, are rules which, though general, do not always hold. If they always held good, we might conclude (but I here exceed my proper bounds) that the inherited effects of the early education of boys and girls would be transmitted equally to both sexes; so that the present inequality in mental power between the sexes would not be effaced by a similar course of early training; nor can it have been caused by their dissimilar early training. In order that woman should reach the same standard as man, she ought, when nearly adult, to be trained to energy and perseverance, and to have her reason and imagination exercised to the highest point; and then she would probably transmit these qualities chiefly to her adult daughters. All women, however, could not be thus raised, unless during many generations those who excelled in the above robust virtues were married, and produced offspring in larger
numbers than other women. As before remarked of bodily strength, although men do not now fight for their wives, and this form of selection has passed away, yet during manhood, they generally undergo a severe struggle in order to maintain themselves and their families; and this will tend to keep up or even increase their mental powers, and, as a consequence, the present inequality between the sexes.” (Darwin 1874: 557–560).
If Darwin were alive today, he would probably be jailed for “hate crimes.”

But was Darwin right? He was not correct in everything he argued here, but nevertheless right in many other ways.

But let us run through some of his most important assertions:

(1) Darwin said: “There can be little doubt that the greater size and strength of man, in comparison with woman, together with his broader shoulders, more developed muscles, rugged outline of body, his greater courage and pugnacity, are all due in chief part to inheritance from his half-human male ancestors.”

Modern science absolutely has found sex differences between men and women, as follows:
(1) on average, men are taller than women;

(2) on average, men have greater upper and lower body strength (with greater muscle mass, thicker tendons, and greater bone density) than women;

(3) on average, oxygen is better circulated around the male body because of higher haemoglobin levels so that, physiologically, men are better at physical activity than women;

(4) on average, men have greater stamina (with higher levels of anabolic steroids);

(5) on average, men have greater maximal oxygen uptake capacity than women

(6) on average, men have higher levels of testosterone, and this causes behavioural differences between men and women, including greater male aggression, violence and competition (essentially what Darwin calls “pugnacity”).
So Darwin was right.

(2) Darwin said: “Woman seems to differ from man in mental disposition, chiefly in her greater tenderness and less selfishness;” and “We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary genius,’ that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.”

Modern science and psychometrics have found the following:
(1) there really is some evidence of a small difference between the average IQ of men as compared with that of women. Men appear to have a slightly higher average IQ, with about a 3–5 point advantage over women.

(2) more importantly, when the IQs of a representative sample of men and women are plotted on a graph, it has been discovered that the distribution of IQs is not the same. See the graph of male and female IQ distribution here. As we can see, the manner in which the IQs of men and women fall on the graph differs: the IQ scores of women tend to cluster around the average (with less distribution in upper and lower ranges), while male IQs tend to be distributed less around the average and more in the upper and lower ranges as compared with the IQ distribution of women.

The average IQ for European people is about 100. So, for example, more European women have IQs that tend to cluster around 100 than the IQs of men do. This means that, numerically, there are far more high IQ men than there are women (also, it means there are far more low IQ men than there are women). Furthermore, it means that, numerically, there are fewer men of about average IQ than there are women.

(3) by examining the sub-tests of IQ tests, we have discovered that – in terms of sub-tests and specific cognitive abilities – men and women also differ. Women tend, on average, to be much better at verbal abilities and language, but men tend on average to outperform women on numerical/mathematical and visual-spatial cognitive abilities.

(4) There are also general psychological and behaviour differences between men and women that affect each gender’s educational choices and career choices. Women are better at verbal/language abilities, and have a general propensity to choose professions where they can use those abilities, and professions that involve greater social interaction, caring and nurturing (e.g., nursing).

(5) on average, men are more competitive (because of higher levels of testosterone) and more aggressive than women.
So here Darwin was essentially right too (full references to scientific literature can be found here), and the only problem being he should have focussed more on differences in the distribution of male versus female IQ, and on average differences in specific cognitive abilities such as verbal IQ, numerical/mathematical IQ, and visual-spatial IQ.

Curiously, Darwin was a Liberal and a type of progressive Liberal in his day, and many of his defenders and followers were too, so there was clearly a time when Liberalism was compatible with accepting biological differences between men and women.

For some reason, modern Liberalism and Leftism have been poisoned by science-denial and blank slateist social constructivism.

Darwin, Charles. 1874. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (2nd edn.). Merrill and Baker, New York and London.


  1. "Statistics is a science that shows that if my neighbor has two cars and I none, we both have one". George Bernard Shaw.

  2. The author, inexplicably, seems to assume that I.Q. differences cannot possibly be socially constructed.

  3. As to strength, stamina etc. point made. But there are still 2 open questions :
    1°) How are we to delineate the respective part of nature and nurture when it comes to mental attributes (abilities, behavioural patterns etc.) ? nothing looks as natural as a deeply entrenched cultural habit...
    2°) in case we were provided with results beyond reasonable doubt, what political conclusions shall be drawn from those ?