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The Unjust Prejudice Against Women’s Intelligence

Apr 27, 2023 | 0 comments

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Apr 27, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

There has been frustration and prejudice on knowledgeable female and this has reduced their natural ideas. The common perception is that the size of the brain of women is small and therefore they are intellectually inferior to men. The Western anthropometry led by Paul Broca even tried to confirm the inferiority of females by conducting a medical skull centrifuge. With his undeniable work, careful techniques showed that females had little ideas in comparison to men and, therefore, cannot be compared to men in intellect. His findings saw the increased prejudice towards women in the society (Gould, 1996p.113).

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George Eliot once lamented on the talented women unfulfilled lives and further discounted the innate limitation idea. The European anthropometry led by Paul Broca even tried to prove the inferiority of women by measuring the scientific centrifuge. With his irrefutable work, meticulous procedures depicted that women had smaller brains compared to men and, therefore, cannot match men in intelligence. He further argued that the fact reinforces the prejudice in the male society (Gould, 1996p.113).

From tests and experiments conducted autopsies in four medical care hospitals in Paris, there was a difference of 181 grams between men and ladies (Gould, 1996p.87). The explanations forwarded by Broca and his followers were that the variations could be linked with the greater heights of men, yet there was no attempt to evaluate the impact on the measurement. He described that the difference cannot be further be discussed because as we know, females to men are not comparable.

Through his analysis, Gould (1996) further examined the work of Broca conducted in 1873 in which he measured the prehistoric cranial capacities of skulls in Mort and L’Homme cave. The results found out a difference of 99.5 cubic cm only between females and men. Topinard, one of the disciples of Broca described the difference in wide discrepancy to be due to different significant specifications upon the dominant men and non-active females. To quote him he said, “The man who in the struggle for existence fights for two or more, who bears all the responsibilities and cares for tomorrow, actively combating environment and other human rivals, requires more brain than the passive women whom he must nourish and protect, always sedentary, lack any occupation and whose main duties are to love and raise children” (Gould, 1996p.152-159).

A specific comparison of Broca’s details showed that they were sound but the analysis and presentation had ill intentions. Information verifying the claim of incresaed variations progressively can be easily ignored. According to Gould (1996), Broca based his results on cases from Mort and L’Homme alone with only six females and seven men. Furthermore, using the modern research, the bodyweight of the brain decreases with age, and the females Broca used were averagely older than the men. Gould (1996) further disapproved the explanations of Broca by using multiple regressions. This is a technique that makes several comparisons on the impact of the height on the measurement of the age of the brain. Gould (1996p. 220) observed that the outcome decreases the initial difference from 181 grams to 113 grams. The other difference can be linked with other aspect unidentified to influence the measurement the brain such as illnesses.

Maria Montessori, an anthropological lecturer in university of Rome also calculated the children’s heads circumferences in her school and created an inference that the ones with the bigger brains had best prospects. She further described that females had a little bit bigger brains in comparison to men. She identified that females were intellectually excellent, but men have been in power for a longer duration because of physical force. However, because technology has replaced use of physical power, the females’ era may be soon in place. In that epoch, there will be bright individuals and there will be intelligent men in ideas and feelings. Perhaps, the idea of females is progressively nearing, when her anthropological hypothesis will get deciphered (Gould, 1996p. 223).


Gould, S. J. (1996). Women’s Brain. New York: Norton.

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