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Do boys and their toys have a 'technical' smarts advantage over girls?

Compared to girls, boys are more enthralled by technical things such as taking apart a bike, which is why they score higher in technical aptitude tests, scientists claim in a new study.

Psychologists at the University of Iowa analyzed data on how men and women do in various aptitude tests and found that women score lower on technical aptitude than men across all intelligence levels.

However, experts maintain that doing well in school or at work is based on general intelligence rather than specific aptitudes.

"The factors that are measured by the specific aptitude tests independent of the general intelligence component in these tests don't make any contribution to job performance," said Frank Schmidt, lead author of the study.

Schmidt's theory suggests this variation between boys and girls stems from sex differences concerning interest in technical activities, which leads people to gain technical experience that allows for more competence in technical aptitude tests.

“The research shows it’s very hard to change people’s interests. They are pretty stable and they form pretty early in life,” Schmidt added.

Research shows that on average men and women don’t differ in general intelligence.

 
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