Cognitive sex differences and mathematics and science achievement

Comments on the original article “Sex Differences in Intrinsic Aptitude for Mathematics and Science?: A Critical Review,” by E. S. Spelke (see record 2005-15840-001). Spelke considered “three claims that cognitive sex differences account for the differential representation of men and women in high-level careers in mathematics and science.” The focus of this comment is on the claim regarding gender differences in mean levels of cognitive abilities. Spelke claimed (p. 954) that “most investigators of sex differences have concluded that males and females have equal cognitive ability, with somewhat different profiles.” There are two major components to this comment. The first is mainly theoretical, and the second is both theoretical and empirical.