Discover more from PastPresentFuture
"Are Women As Smart As Men?"
The absolutely scientific answer published a century ago
Sometimes a tour of the past requires a tour guide. But sometimes the past speaks for itself.
Following is an article I came across in Popular Science Monthly, published July, 1928. The headline caught my eyeballs like a grappling hook:
An Answer to the Age-Old Question: Are Women As Smart as Men?
As if that wasn’t enough to get you reading, the article begins with this arresting question: “Is your wife as smart as you?” (Note that the wife is not the reader. A woman? Reading Popular Science Monthly? Why would the pretty little things bother?)
How many times have you argued the point! Did you ever settle it? Here, for the first time, a psychologist of recognized ability presents a scientific answer.
At last! A scientific answer!
Read the whole article. Soak in the sexism. Gasp at the racism. Gaze in wonder at the sheer glorious stupidity of sentences like this: “Women do not count large among the geniuses because they do not want to be geniuses. They want to be women.”
One-hundred years ago this was what intelligent, educated people in the world’s most advanced country were reading in a popular science magazine.
As you read, count the number of times your eyes widen or your face scrunches up in a pained wince. The final tally is a complete, objective, and mathematically precise measure of the moral and intellectual progress we made over the past century.
It’s science, folks. You can’t question science.
PastPresentFuture is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.