Despite winning the right to vote in 1920, and despite research demonstrating that men and women scored equally on skills tests, women continued to face discrimination. While we acknowledged that women were as smart as men, we insisted that the genders were complementary, and not quite comparable. Famed American psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike said that women surpass men in "spelling, English, foreign languages, immediate memory and retentiveness." Men, on the other hand, excel in history, physics, chemistry, "ingenuity," and physical coordination.
Not to mention that women have a deeper understanding of human nature. Thorndike said that while women are intrigued by personalities, men are more interested in the facts. At the theater, a woman would overlook a skilled performer if he played the villain, but would love a mediocre, yet handsome actor as the lead, presumably because she loves the personality of a dashing hero. When it comes to elections, men would examine a candidate's accomplishments while a woman would scrutinize his family life and church attendance.
All in all, we concluded, men and women were "equals and complements," but in society, men simply held more power. Not only did they have more opportunities, but they possessed a wider spectrum of intelligence than women. "The Caesars, Napoleons, Lloyd Georges and Edisons probably always will be men--but likewise the biggest fools probably will be men as well."
Read the full story in "Are Women as Smart as Men?"