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The Male Brain, Testosterone and Sex Differences in Professional Achievement

Edward Dutton


Lynn argues that sex differences in intelligence and drive (underpinned by testosterone) help to explain sex differences in high achievement. This comment proposes that this view can be developed by looking at Baron-Cohen’s concept of the ‘male brain’, which in its extreme manifestations presents as autism-spectrum disorders. It shows that this personality type — specifically a moderately strongly male brain combined with the outlier high IQ also more common among men — is associated with genius, and so the highest levels of achievement, and is partly a reflection of elevated testosterone. Thus an optimally high level of testosterone, also associated with faster life history strategy, is behind both elevated male drive and a greater ability to innovate, systematize and make important breakthroughs, leading to the highest levels of professional achievement. The comment shows that the ‘male brain’ is independent of intelligence and that even the highest echelons of the ‘oldest profession’ are male dominated, as the male brain model would predict.

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