Stephen Pinker revisits the Lawrence Summers controversy, and I’m reminded of a good point a friend made recently: There’s apparently ample literature that whatever intrinsic differences in math (or whetever else) ability exist between men and women, they’re dwarfed by the differences that appear when people believe there’s some kind of biological disparity. In other words, give two randomly selected groups of women the same math test, but tell one group beforehand that research shows that women typically do less well on this sort of test. That group will, apparently, proceed to do less well.
So I wonder: Assume for a moment there really is some cognitive difference such that there are more men who are capable of the highest-level performance in math, say. Might it be the sort of thing that, even if neuroscientists and other academics acknowledge among themselves, they should agree not to talk about too often or loudly in public?