Less intelligent people are nicer

Gender - Trimmed for performance, but less intelligent: Why men are victims of their genes

Trimmed for performance, but less intelligent: Why men are victims of their genes

Women are smarter, more resilient and also live longer than men. An important reason for this are genes.

The evidence is overwhelming: up to puberty, boys are sick more often than girls, boys have a higher mortality rate, they develop more slowly, later become clean and later learn to sit, crawl, walk and talk than girls.

The disadvantage of the male sex begins in the womb. More boys than girls are born dead or born prematurely. In Switzerland, the probability that a newborn will die before its first birthday is 3.8 per mille for girls and 4.1 per mille for boys. Nature tries to compensate for the lower chances of boys with a higher proportion of male newborns - there are 104.6 male babies for every 100 female babies in this country - apparently with little success. The organism of women simply seems to be better armed against harmful effects and pathogens than that of men.

Even in childhood, men prove to be more susceptible to disease than women. This can already be seen in coping with most of the teething problems. So-called sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) affects boys twice as often as girls. In almost all infectious diseases of childhood, there is a pronounced boyfriendliness. 1.5 times more boys are overweight. In the case of gastric and intestinal ulcers, there is one girl for every six boys who are infected; for asthma the ratio is two to one, and for allergies seven to five. And 1.7 times more boys die of cancer.

Dumber too?

The mental development of boys is also more often impaired. This can be seen in the areas of intelligence, but also with disorders of language and motor skills:

  • Two thirds of all mentally handicapped children are boys.
  • Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls, and Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is eight times more common.
  • Boys are more likely to suffer from dyslexia and ADHD.
  • Two thirds of children with motor coordination disorders are boys.
  • Boys have poorer educational qualifications than girls.
  • The proportion of male university graduates has been falling for years.

The social prognosis is also worse: even in childhood, boys have fatal accidents twice as often as girls; three quarters of all crimes are committed by men; they are more likely than average perpetrators, but also victims of physical violence; male adolescents and young men are 30 times more likely to be incarcerated than young women.

But that's enough, do you think? Not quite yet. There are also clear differences in the social skills of the two sexes. “Women have greater social skills and a greater sensitivity to children's needs than men,” writes the Swiss pediatrician Remo H. Largo in his bestseller “Kinderjahre”. Neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, medical director of the Psychiatric University Clinic in Ulm, emphasizes that there are well-researched social, emotional and linguistic abilities that are significantly less developed in boys than in girls: «Even as babies, girls recognize faces better and are more interested in others People. And their brains are trimmed for communication, so that girls at 16 months know an average of 13 words and at two years of age 115 words more than boys of the same age. At the age of 20 to 30 months, girls speak more often spontaneously and they also use more complex grammatical structures more frequently and with fewer errors than boys. " Once grown up, women use around 20,000 words a day, while men use only 7,000.

The verbal memory of women is always better than that of men, writes Spitzer in the specialist journal “Nervenheilkunde”, and it is not for nothing that grandmothers are the best storytellers.

"File number XY" unsolved

An important reason for the obvious intelligence deficit of men lies in the different genetic makeup of the sexes. The set of chromosomes in the normal cells of the body contains 46 tiny chromosomes, hereditary bodies, on which all information is stored that is required for growth and development. Two of them are responsible for gender: women have two X chromosomes, while men have one X and one Y chromosome. The two are an unequal pair in every respect and already differ significantly in their dimensions: X is much larger than Y. The XY constellation of their chromosomes makes men more susceptible from the outset. It is particularly problematic for a man's health if genes on his X chromosome are damaged or even lost and cannot be exchanged for a corresponding gene on the second X chromosome, as in women. Examples of this are diseases that practically only occur in men, such as hemophilia or red-green blindness.

According to brain researcher Spitzer, the Y chromosome is “crippled”: “In terms of evolution, the male Y chromosome developed from the female X chromosome - men are, so to speak, women with defect mutations. This makes them more specialized, but also more vulnerable. " According to Spitzer, men are people who have been trimmed for performance by evolution, with the result that not so much importance could be attached to their durability. Clear evidence of this is provided by the still different life expectancy of both sexes: According to statistics, a girl born today in Switzerland will live to be 85.3 years old, while boys can only expect an average of 81.5 years of age.