In Race to Get Smarter, Women Are Speedier
Study points to benefits of improved living conditions
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 29, 2014 7:06 PM CDT
Women are beating men in the race to get smarter, experts say.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Over the years, humankind has been getting smarter, and lately, it looks like women's brains are in the faster lane. Researchers studied data on 31,000 people from 13 European countries, with the participants born between 1923 and 1957. They found that women are ahead of men when it comes to episodic memory, or the ability to recall various material. Meanwhile, though women on average remained behind on mathematical ability, the difference was shown to be shrinking, LiveScience reports.

Both genders improved over time—researchers compared results from different age groups—but women made bigger gains, the study found. Women living in better conditions, according to GDP, mortality rate, and other factors, tended to see a boost in performance. "As living conditions increase, so do men and women’s cognitive abilities—but women’s more than men’s," says a researcher quoted at the Verge. It's possible, however, that once women have "caught up" to men, that effect will fade, she adds. Can such differences be attributed to nature or nurture? "The development of cognitive abilities is always both," an outside expert notes. (Want people to think you're smarter? Here's one easy way.)

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Jul 30, 2014 3:46 PM CDT
Depends on how you define smart. Men are so much better than women in so many areas its insane. Men think in images, that allows men to be creative, inventive and be able to repair things. Women think in words and by speaking. That helps them in relationships and pushing paper work around. But most women can't repair a door knob.
Jul 30, 2014 9:50 AM CDT
One year out of college, go to a girl's apartment and she has been buying furniture. Go to a guy's apartment and there are beach chairs in front of a $2000 big screen with playstation controllers. ... ya, girls are smarter. You needed scientists to figure that out?
Jul 30, 2014 9:40 AM CDT
Yeah! Women are very SMART! It's all about the "V"!! Hail to the "V"!! There ya go!