Male/Female Created He Them Intelligent

Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

Given the recent internet stir over Doug Batchelor’s sermon on women in ministry, I thought I’d weigh in on one simple point: male and female intelligence differences. After listening to the sermon, I found myself wishing someone would present a more complete picture of the issue and send it around the internet. Then I remembered my monthly e-letter was due and thought, Hmmm, maybe I should take a stab at it. Coincidentally, this past week 3ABN television aired a show I did with Shelley Quinn on male and female temperament and cognitive differences!

 

Doug cited a recent British Journal of Psychology study[i] which showed males having a 5-point I.Q. advantage over females. Indeed, this and other studies seem to indicate a male intellectual advantage. But read on, women, before you forgo your aspirations of a PhD in aerospace engineering in favor of the quiet, simple life of a bubblehead. What begs mentioning is that the scientific community pumps out volumes of research on sex and intelligence, much of it contradictory. The British Journal article has equally-valid challengers. Rather than base our conclusions on one study, we should examine what research terminology calls a review of the literature, which compiles the results of all the scientific literature on a given topic. Just as we obtain a second opinion before cancer surgery, we spread our research weight over a network of experts. In a review of the literature, the British Journal study would be diluted by findings that contradict it—such as a 2007 study out of the University of Texas that showed women having a 2-4 point I.Q. advantage in adulthood[ii]—and the net result would be, as one Loma Linda University researcher said, “No sex differences in general intelligence.”[iii] In fact, “no difference” is the consensus of the scientific community on this issue. Most researchers have moved on from that question to identify the specific areas of excellence in the respective genders.

                                                                                                           

Equal but different, complementarity rather than competition, two halves of a whole—this is the picture of the sexes I get from God’s Word. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” Genesis 1:27. Twice, as if to drive the point deeper, inspiration says God made us in His image. Then it cites the dyadic nature of humanity, male and female. Male can’t represent God without female and female can’t do it without male. One can’t disparage one gender without besmirching the image of God. I say this for the benefit of my own conscience. When one gender belittles the other, the temptation to react in kind always hovers nearby. But sexes at war fail to blend into that divinely-purposed image of God. I really don’t want to go there.

 

Beyond and above mere science, I want an inspired view of gender and intelligence, such as that held by Ellen White, who said, “We who love God in truth are all working for a heavenly kingdom. There is no time to waste upon a class of work that has no Christ in it, or upon that work that woman, who is man’s equal, can do if her heart is imbued with the love of Christ our Savior.” 21MR, p. 30.

 

Yours in Imago Dei,

 

Jennifer

www.jenniferjill.org; www.jenpenn.com; www.jenniferschwirzer.com

 

I’m on facebook, too!


[i] Irwing, P., Lynn, R. Sex differences in means and variability on the progressive matrices in university students: a meta-analysis. Br J Psychol. 2005 Nov; 96 (Pt 4):505-24.

[ii] Keith, T. Z., et al., Sex differences in latent cognitive abilities ages 6 to 59: Evidence from the Woodcock–Johnson III tests of cognitive abilities, Intelligence (2007), doi:10.1016/j.intell.2007.11.001.

[iii] Halpern, D., LaMay, M., The Smarter Sex: A Critical Review of Sex Differences in Intelligence, Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2000.

11 thoughts on “Male/Female Created He Them Intelligent

  1. Christiane Marshall

    Nevermind, I found it with a Google search. I’m reading an overview on the Spectrum blog but will also listen to it, but not tonight! I love Doug Batchelor! But reading the 28 points are making me too angry to listen right now. In the overview it states he said men deny pain longer than women! I’m stopping there for the night. What on earth? Am I crazy? Have you found the opposite to be true? Off to pray for more patience…..

  2. Dale Slongwhite

    Jennifer, Thank you for this intelligent response to a ridiculous sermon. I have not posted because I could not be as kind as you are in your post.

  3. Jennifer Jill Schwirzer Post author

    I wasn’t trying to be kind, just fair. Nice to hear from you!

  4. Jennifer Jill Schwirzer Post author

    Christiane, I don’t know if men deny pain longer than women–perhaps. I do know that red-headed women have an unusually high pain tolerance! I don’t mind the parts of the sermon that cite the differences between men and women. What I don’t like is that he didn’t give a more balanced view of the intelligence question.

  5. Christiane Marshall

    I’m just disappointed. He’s an intelligent and gifted minister. I don’t have a problem with differences either. But some of the points are not logical, and some not true. Some conclusions don’t make sense. I do appreciate your comments. One of my pet peeves is the incorrect use of sources. As Christians, we need to look more deeply at what it means to be honest.

  6. Jennifer Jill Schwirzer Post author

    I think many people felt the same disappointment. I know, love and respect many who oppose women’s ordination and I honestly think there’s a reasonable argument against it. I don’t believe it’s a “Duh.” But unfortunately when subtle or not-so-subtle belittling takes place, the arguments take on a chauvinistic cast. In some circles there seems to be a deep fear of secular feminism, but no corresponding fear of chauvinism. I believe male chauvinism to be the greater threat.

  7. David Hamstra

    I’m to see you taking on that point in Batchelor’s sermon in a substantive way. When it comes to this topic, selectively citing studies can get one into as much trouble as picking and choosing scripture verses or proof texting.

    It seems that opponents of women’s ordination have also been doing a selective reading of Adventist history. Our Andrews seminary dean has written about that here: http://www.memorymeaningfaith.org/blog/2010/04/adventist-pioneers-women-ministry.html

  8. Jennifer Jill Schwirzer Post author

    David, thanks for the link and I will check it out. It seems that sometime after the turn of the century Adventism began to copy evangelicalism in male/female role limitations. Overall, we’ve been very anxious to impress other Protestants and self-conscious of our distinctiveness.

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    Nevermind, I found it with a Google search. I’m reading an overview on the Spectrum blog but will also listen to it, but not tonight! I love Doug Batchelor! But reading the 28 points are making me too angry to listen right now. In the overview it states he said men deny pain longer than women! I’m stopping there for the night. What on earth? Am I crazy? Have you found the opposite to be true? Off to pray for more patience…..

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