To set the mood for this thread, first a quote. John Steinbeck wrote, in his short story Flight: “A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed. Remember this thing. I have known boys forty years old because there was no need for a man.”
That is a piece of Golden Wisdom from John Steinbeck (who otherwise was a general pinko). It jibes with what my Psychology of Human Sexuality textbook has to say about the male's academic capabilities (author: David C. Geary): “A . . . consistent but not universal finding is that there are more boys and men than girls and women at the high and low ends of IQ scores. In a study of about 80,000 eleven-year-olds, Deary et a. (2003) found no sex difference in average IQ, but as scores moved away from the average, the ratio of boys to girls increased; 55% and 56% of the children in the top and bottom 2% of IQ, respectively, were boys . . . Consideration of this variation is important practically because these differences can contribute to sex differences in the extremes of academic and occupational achievement and important theoretically because this variation is consistent with sexual selection . . . [T]he variability among boys and men and the sex difference in average IQ may vary from on culture to the next and historically. When conditions are good, boys and men may have an advantage, but when times are bad, girls and women may have an advantage, on average.” [my bold]
It reminds me of men in China. First let me quote an abcnews article:
“A report out today, "Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context," shows the U.S. now ranks 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
While OECD countries such as Finland, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and New Zealand continue to outpace the U.S. in reading, science and math, all eyes are on China. In its first year to be included in the study as a non-OECD education system, Shanghai ranked first in all three categories. Hong Kong came in second in reading and science and third in math.”
Okay. It’s abundantly clear that China is kicking everyone’s ass in terms of who’s the smartest (And America, despite being the richest and most powerful country, performs pitifully). Why is this so? Obviously there can be much debate. Let me offer a politically incorrect hypothesis. It's the different cultures of the countries. One is more fit and efficient than the other. One has an almost superhuman drive that has transformed the country from poverty to approaching opulence in nary a century; the other sags beneath the weight of its listless citizens' entitlements. One is smart, and wields unideological realism on the international stage, avoiding foreign entanglements and making auspicious friends in other countries; the other repeats the mistakes of empires past, overextends itself, financially disembowels itself in pointless wars fought for utopian causes.
...Could the men have something to do with this?
Here are some of my favorite quotes from an interesting article on Chinese men:
“The Chinese character for "man" (男) depicts "power in the field." Angular and bold, the pictogram celebrates testosterone-fueled masculinity; it also suggests that men, while ruling the roost, are fully responsible for the material well being of the clan. Confucianism, the Middle Kingdom's cultural blueprint, is rooted in double-edged patriarchy; men boast power but are constrained by the yoke of duty, both today and in the past.”
“Within the [Chinese] household, the markers of legitimacy have always been crystal clear. Men must wu shi you wu er zhi yu xue ("set your heart on learning by fifteen"), san shi er li ("be successful by thirty"), si shi bu huo ("have no doubt about yourself by fourty"), wu shi er zhi tian ming ("know the mandate of heaven by fifty"), liu shi er er shun ("hear only the mandate of heaven by sixty"), qi shi er cong xing suo bu yu ju ("follow your heart's desire BUT without transgressing the norms") and, from birth to death, guan zong yao zu ("honor and bring glory to ancestors").”
“Confucianism is anti-individualistic. So, too, is its modern incarnation, Chinese communism. Regimented benchmarks of achievement imposed by a rigid social structure do not foster self-actualization. Instead, they breed repression. Consequently, a man relishes the release of pent up frustration. Victory should be larger than life. Challenge should be heroic.”
“Confucius said a man must provide for the family, and strong-will Chinese women never fail to remind him of his sacred duty. To have a shot with a girl, he