In Western countries in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, many people believed that inequality between the sexes could be attributed to biological differences. Thomas Gisborne argued that women were naturally suited to domestic work and not spheres suited to men such as politics, science, or business. He argued that this was because women did not possess the same level of rational thinking that men did and had naturally superior abilities in skills related to family support.
Nicolas Malebranche argued that abstraction was impossible for women, because of the "delicacy of the brain fibers." In 1875, Herbert Spencer similarly argued that women were incapable of abstract thought and could not understand issues of justice, and only had the ability to understand issues of care. In 1925, Sigmund Freud also concluded that women were less morally developed in the concept of justice, and, unlike men, were more influenced by feeling than rational thought. Early brain studies comparing mass and volumes between the sexes concluded that women were intellectually inferior because they had smaller and lighter brains. Many believed that the size difference caused women to be excitable, emotional, sensitive, and therefore not suited for political participation. Today, others argue that brain size correlates with intelligence and/or personality.
In the nineteenth century, whether men and women had equal intelligence was seen by many as a prerequisite for the granting of suffrage. Leta Hollingworth argues that women were not permitted to realize their full potential, as they were confined to the roles of child-rearing and housekeeping. From the late twentieth century onwards, researchers have investigated the possibility of environmental factors in perceived sex differences. Possible biological sex differences in intelligence have been discussed to determine whether disproportionate employment or payment favoring men is a manifestation of sexism or instead a reflection of innate aptitudes.
During the early twentieth century, the scientific consensus held that gender plays no role in intelligence. In his research, psychologist Lewis Terman found "rather marked" differences on a minority of tests. For example, he found boys were "decidedly better" in arithmetical reasoning, while girls were "superior" at answering comprehension questions, though he concluded that gender plays no role in general intelligence. He also proposed that discrimination, denied opportunities, women's responsibilities in motherhood, or emotional factors may have accounted for the fact that few women had careers in intellectual fields.
Read more about this topic: Sex And Psychology
Other articles related to "history":
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk and slate ...
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... II (1754) Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
... or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...
Famous quotes containing the word history:
“Anyone who is practically acquainted with scientific work is aware that those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact; and anyone who has studied the history of science knows that almost every great step therein has been made by the anticipation of Nature.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (182595)
“If man is reduced to being nothing but a character in history, he has no other choice but to subside into the sound and fury of a completely irrational history or to endow history with the form of human reason.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)
“We may pretend that were basically moral people who make mistakes, but the whole of history proves otherwise.”
—Terry Hands (b. 1941)