Equality Bad for Women

Yet another study that confirms the Red Pill narrative on gender relations: Schmitt, David et al. – 2016 – Personality and gender differences in global perspective –

Men’s and women’s personalities appear to differ in several respects. Social role theories of development assume gender differences result primarily from perceived gender roles, gender socialization and sociostructural power differentials. As a consequence, social role theorists expect gender differences in personality to be smaller in cultures with more gender egalitarianism. Several large cross-cultural studies have generated sufficient data for evaluating these global personality predictions. Empirically, evidence suggests gender differences in most aspects of personality—Big Five traits, Dark Triad traits, self-esteem, subjective well-being, depression and values—are conspicuously larger in cultures with more egalitarian gender roles, gender socialization and sociopolitical gender equity. Similar patterns are evident when examining objectively measured attributes such as tested cognitive abilities and physical traits such as height and blood pressure. Social role theory appears inadequate for explaining some of the observed cultural variations in men’s and women’s personalities. Evolutionary theories regarding ecologically-evoked gender differences are described that may prove more useful in explaining global variation in human personality.

This stands to reason. There is no apparent cross-national correlation between measurable things like female salaries as a percenage of male salaries or the percentage share of female CEOs, and the influence of gender feminism in society.

Incidentally, although I haven’t tried to quantify it, my impression is that that after you adjust for everything, women outside core Europe have historically performed relatively better (to men) as compared to their counterparts within the Hajnal Line across fields such as historical scientific and literary accomplishment (the Japanese Murasaki Shikibu is the most accomplished woman in any of Charles Murray’s broad categories of achievement), intelligence (women tend to do better relative to men across multiple cognitive tests outside the West – this seems to be especially evident amongst Arabs and Africans, but can also be detected amongst East Asians), business leadership positions (the ex-Soviet world is generally in the lead, and Southern Europe including Turkey is ahead of Northern Europe), and even self-made billionaires (China has 2/3 of the global total).

I wonder if in addition to selecting for traits like altruism and civic values, as has been extensively covered by HBD bloggers like hbdchick, whether the outbreeding patterns of Hajnal Europe could have also selected for a bigger cognitive and psychological gap between the sexes. I have no idea how that would work or even what mechanisms could have led to that but the hypothesis is there if anybody feels like trying to prove (or refute) it.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. There is no equality. Women are actually a privileged gender today. They work less, do so in a far safer occupations, live longer, and account for 70 percent of all retail spending. The latter means that although men work significantly more, they surrender pretty much all of their earnings to the wives, girlfriends and other assorted harpies.
    After all of that, poor fellas get to spend the rest of their time listening to whining, demands for more money, and the tales about how terrible men are oppressing sweet, innocent women.
    PS. In Karlin’s country situation is even more grotesque. Not only Russian females live a decade or so longer than men (world record, probably), but they retire 5 years earlier. What equality are you talking about, Anatoly?

  2. Unfortunately, personality tests are next to useless when you try to compare across cultures. A big part of that is because people don’t rate themselves against the global background in personality. Rather, they rate themselves against the norms of their culture. So in short, I don’t believe this study, at least not yet.

  3. [women tend to do better relative to men across multiple cognitive tests outside the West – this seems to be especially evident amongst Arabs and Africans, but can also be detected amongst East Asians]

    I’m afraid that just shows how little these tests, especially outside the west, are really worth.

  4. Male IQ has greater variance than female IQ. Most of the geniuses and idiots are men. Women cluster in the middle. But the means are close. What Anatoly meant there is that the male-female differences in mean IQs are a little more favorable to women outside of the West than inside it.

    But as I said above, a large majority of the really smart people are men. This is fully acknowledged by psychometrics. And it’s true for all races and ethnicities.

  5. Sandgroper says

    When I was young and single, we guys would gather around the water cooler to gossip, fart and giggle, and a lot of the other guys would talk about sex. One day one of the most voluble on the subject said to me very suspiciously “How come you never talk about sex?” I replied “Some of us just talk about it, some of us just do it. If you are doing it, you don’t need to talk about it.” He disliked my response, but I have a suspicion there is some of that going on in relation to gender equality – there is endless talk about gender equality in western liberal democracies, and relatively very little discussion of it in China – but the anecdotal evidence of my eyes tells me that gender equality is actually practised more in China than in countries where it is endlessly debated. Why talk endlessly about it if you are already doing it?

    Then there is what Razib refers to as ‘difference feminism’ – women demand the right to be a bunch of ditzes because they are female. You don’t see that in China at all. You do see it in Australia, everywhere you look.

    When I enrolled in Civil Engineering as an undergraduate in a good Australian university 50 years ago, out of 196 enrolees in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering combined, 3 were women. Four years later, 20 of us graduated (the remainder having failed or voluntarily dropped out) – 10 Civils, 5 Mechanicals and 5 Electricals. Of those, precisely 1 was a female, a Civil. She was the first female in history to graduate in Engineering from that university. I got an update on her recently – she’s still small, blonde and passingly good looking, and she’s still working as an Engineer; most of her career has been spent in the mining industry.

    Fast forward to today. I recently checked on the enrolments in Engineering at that university – 12% female (despite a great deal of talking about the need to attract more women into Engineering -well, I guess it’s progress of a sort). In Hong Kong (which you can take as a reasonable proxy for China in this case), at the leading university, the female enrolment in Engineering is about 50%. That’s not a fiddled result – I know, because I am engaged in Engineering degree accreditation, during which we scrutinise the student intake, among numerous other things. It is just the way it has worked out – take any group of school leavers bright enough to aspire to a prestigious profession like Engineering in Hong Kong, and about 50% of them will be women, just based on academic attainment in secondary school.

    In response to surveys in Australia, it turns out that the large majority of bright-enough young women prefer not to aspire to become Engineers (or Physicists or Mathematicians) because they just don’t want to. In Hong Kong, and China more broadly, they want to.

    Sorry to be so garrulous, but it’s a subject that has held my interest ever since I read “The Female Eunuch” as a teenager. I think I was born a feminist (in the sense that I believe in gender equality). I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t. Certainly I didn’t get it from parental influence – my mother never had a real paying job, never learned to drive a car, never learned to use a personal computer, and never owned a mobile phone.

  6. In modern, relatively wealthy societies, people tend to think more self-consciously about their preferences, rather than their obligations.
    From school to work, “modern” people are constantly talking about what works for them, what suits them, how this, that or the other activity or subject feels, etc…
    Perhaps the stresses of primitive life force people to suppress preferences and behave in a MORE egalitarian way than they otherwise would, and The West is one big revealed preference experiment.

  7. That explains better than anything else why Hong Kong ( and other Chinese entities like Taiwan and Singapore) has the lowest birth rate in the world. Women there are focused on attaining engineering credentials, instead of “primitive stuff” like being a good mother. This will be detrimental to China in the long term.

    Also, it’d be interesting to see as to how many Chinese women actually work as engineers, instead of just receiving diploma and then staying at home watching sitcoms, or opting for a less demanding profession. I suspect that in the actual field of engineering , far less than 50 percent of workers are female. I’d be impressed if 20 percent were.

  8. In Hong Kong (which you can take as a reasonable proxy for China in this case), at the leading university, the female enrolment in Engineering is about 50%.

    Don’t know about HK, but in China it seems nowhere near 50%.
    Acc. to the UNESCO the percentage of female graduates in the PRC in “engineering, manufacturing & construction” was hovering around 15 % in 2010. Perhaps it has grown a bit since then, but probably not by much.

  9. Sorry, that number was for Macao only, as it seems.
    Haven’t found a proper statistic for the mainland, but 2 websites mentioned 40% female engineers. So Sandgroper’s over 50% is perhaps not that far off.

  10. Anonymous says

    On the subject of male/female intelligence gaps, my first thought is of the relatively larger institutionalized populations in western countries. I think it’s reasonable to assume that those in prison, and those in some sort of assisted living situation due to mental handicaps, are less intelligent than the population at large. Statistically, both groups are very disproportionately male. While I have no evidence for this, my instinct is that said institutionalized people are greatly underrepresented in studies of intelligence. When less intelligent men are removed from sample populations at greater rates than less intelligent women, the men you have left will necessarily be more intelligent than the women, relative to what you’d measure if the entire population were measured. This effect is magnified by the fact of men’s greater intellectual variance.

    The prison populations in Africa and Asia are generally smaller than those in the west, and Africa in particular has very little accommodation for the mentally handicapped. It could simply be that stupid men are more likely to be included in studies conducted in those areas.

  11. Seamus Padraig says

    In response to surveys in Australia, it turns out that the large majority of bright-enough young women prefer not to aspire to become Engineers (or Physicists or Mathematicians) because they just don’t want to. In Hong Kong, and China more broadly, they want to.

    Or, to add to what ‘Snippet’ above implied, maybe want has little to do with it; maybe women feel they have to. In the People’s Republic of China, for example, I seriously doubt there are an abundance of jobs for ‘gender studies’ specialists, but since the country is an industrial power-house, I bet there are tons of jobs for engineers.

  12. Seamus Padraig says

    That explains better than anything else why Hong Kong ( and other Chinese entities like Taiwan and Singapore) has the lowest birth rate in the world. Women there are focused on attaining engineering credentials, instead of “primitive stuff” like being a good mother. This will be detrimental to China in the long term.

    You’ve obviously never heard of China’s one-child policy which has been in place since the 60s. Whether or not it’s been good for China is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. But I would point out that surplus population rarely does a country any good. If you doubt what I’m saying, look at the case of modern Egypt.

  13. Oh, I’ve heard about “one child policy”. I just never knew it was applicable in HK, Singapore and Taiwan.
    “Modern Egypt” is an oxymoron and has no relevance to anything happening in SE Asia.

  14. I knew a woman who had grown up in China before the 80s. You worked at what they told you to work at, and you did it all your life. There was no such thing as sitting home watching tv, and for the most part, there still isn’t. Everybody works. She was an electrician and wanted to be a lawyer, so she left her husband and child and went to Switzerland with the idea of them coming later; whether that happened, I don’t know.

    Raising one or two children, no matter how well you do it, doesn’t take your whole life and god help those people whose mothers think it does.

  15. Sandgroper says

    Most of the engineers working in Macau are from Hong Kong. It is only a 45 minute high speed ferry ride away. Macau itself does not produce many ‘local’ engineers.

  16. Sandgroper says

    Hong Kong is a very wealthy place. As with wealthy people in other modern developed economies like America, Hong Kong people choose to have small families. This is a very common part of the transition to a modern developed economy – it has happened in Japan and South Korea, and it is now happening in Mainland China, having already happened in Taiwan and Singapore.

    Unemployment in Hong Kong is around 3%. Most of the women graduating in Engineering end up working in the construction industry. When they want to have a child, they get pregnant, take 6 weeks maternity leave to have the child, and then return to work. In a region (HK being properly termed a region rather than a city) with a population of about 7 million, there are about 450,000 foreign contract workers, almost all of whom are female. They come principally from the Philippines, but also from Indonesia. They are employed as ‘domestic helpers’. They take care of the children during the day while the parents both work, with some input by grandmothers, aunts, etc. It is a system that works very well on the whole.

    Why you should think that China needs an even bigger population, I simply can’t imagine. As it makes the transition to a modern automated society, it needs fewer people, not more.

  17. Anatoly Karlin says

    Curiously, PISA tests imply that Macau has a very low IQ (by East Asian standards).

    BTW, thanks for the indepth Australia anecdote.

  18. Sandgroper says

    Macau was colonised much earlier than Hong Kong, and there was much more mixing between the colonisers and the locals, resulting in the Macanese people who form a distinct ethnic group with their own unique cuisine and culture. Being bilingual and bi-literate in Cantonese/Chinese and Portuguese, they have tended to dominate the Macau civil service.

    Macau also had (African) slavery, which HK never did. In the Battle of Macau, which resulted in a crushing defeat for the invading Dutch, much of the fighting on the Portuguese side was done by African slaves. Wikipedia: “One black woman was even compared to the legendary baker-woman of Aljubarrota by a contemporary Jesuit for her incredible skill with a halberd during the battle.” I have to assume that there was interbreeding with slaves as well as between Portuguese and local Han Chinese, and that Macanese may have some African genetic component, although it is not visually obvious. It is evident in their cuisine, however, much of which is fiercely spicy.

    In HK, mixed marriages were much more rare, even up to today. The biracial population of HK is much smaller than the Macanese, and does not have any kind of separate cultural identity.

    That is the only explanation I can think of for why Macau should rank lower in mean IQ than HK or neighbouring Guangdong Province, Anatoly.

  19. Sandgroper says

    Well (sorry, serial posting) I guess I could also add that the HK education system is a fierce meat-grinder that results in kids over-achieving academically (and the suicides of 22 secondary school students last year alone).

    I don’t know but imagine that the Macau education system is somewhat more relaxed. Plus they have the difficulty that they have to juggle teaching English, Portuguese and Chinese languages, whereas HK kids only (!) have to deal with learning both English and Chinese (Cantonese + Mandarin + written). Learning Chinese language is so burdensome that most of my daughter’s Chinese classmates dropped Chinese language at age 15 in favour of French. Why French? Because Vancouver – they figure French might be some use to them if/when they migrate to Canada – doubtful, but more use than Chinese.

  20. I do not know about the division between the genders in engineering classes in East Asia, but on standardized tests, the difference between men and women seems to be the same as in the West. Take for example the study “Sex differences in mental rotation and line angle judgments are positively associated with gender equality and economic development across 53 nations”. The difference in visual spatial ability between men and women in China or Japan is basically the same as in the West.
    Or take the math / physics / informatics olympiads. The Chinese, Korean and Japanese teams follow the same Western pattern of being all male, with only a girl sporadically. Also, the difference in IQ test WAIS-R between men and women in Japan is 3.3 points (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886997800219), exactly the same observed in Spain for Collon et all.
    In KL Beals 1984’s study , the most dimorphic racial groups in brain size were the East / North-Asians.

  21. Sandgroper says

    You don’t need to be that smart to become an Engineer – an IQ of 135 will do it. There are any number of East Asian females who top that easily. My IQ is 140+ and my daughter tops me by 3 to 5 points – and she’s not that unusual. As it happens, she chose a career in Life Science, but with her academic results in Secondary School she could have creamed Engineering.

    The Big Three prestige professions in East Asia are Medicine, Law and Engineering, not because you need to be exceptionally bright, but because they pay very well. Having a higher IQ might earn you a career in Physics or Mathematics, but you’re going to be a pauper compared to people working in the Big Three. And some of them in turn probably wish they had pursued a career in banking and finance – not around 2008, but before and since.

  22. Actually I am an engineer too 🙂 . The average IQ of engineers should be something much lower than the number you quoted, something like 115. See http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/occupations.aspx. 135 should be the average IQ of a PhD, or an engineer of an elite college like MIT. Also, IQ tests are not precise enough to say that his daughter has 3 points more than you. In fact, if you remake the same IQ test, your score will differ by a large margin. When comparing large populations, it makes sense to say that one has 3 points more than the other, because the noise in the individual measurements cancel each other, as is done with image interpolation. But comparing two individuals, it makes little sense to say that one has 2-3 points more than the other because the test does not have this sensitivity.

  23. Sandgroper says

    I have never believed those numbers. No one with an IQ as low as 115 would have got through a first degree in engineering at the university I attended, or any university that graduates civil engineers in Hong Kong. In any case, the competition to enrol in engineering in HK would exclude anyone with an IQ that low. I’m guessing that number came from first engineering degrees at American universities – even then I find it surprisingly low. In any case, it’s pretty outdated now.

    What can I say? My daughter and I have done the same IQ tests and she has consistently out-scored me by 3 to 5 points. But if you know that didn’t happen, I guess I must have imagined it.

  24. Sandgroper says

    Further, if you are a professional engineer, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Washington Accord for first engineering degrees, including the requirement for a high content of higher mathematics and, in civil at least, physics and numerical analysis. Common sense alone should tell you that no one with an IQ of 115 is going to be able to cope with those requirements. That level of general intelligence would be more appropriate for someone working as an engineering technician, not as a professional engineer.

  25. Sandgroper says

    Sorry, I see you are in Brazil, which is not a signatory to the Washington Accord, so you probably don’t understand what I’m talking about; in which case, forget it, but you might not want to comment on the standards of engineering degrees in states which are signatories.

  26. The requirements for graduating as a mechanical engineer in Brazil are the same as in US and Germany, which are countries that many of my colleagues were working. Even the degree chart of Caltech, which I just searched is similar to the university where I graduated. See another estimate: http://anepigone.blogspot.com.br/2009/03/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major.html . Even if half of those not get the degree, the estimate would grow from 108 to around 117. And that’s the average. Students with less than this will graduate. And exactly what IQ tests you and daddy’s girl did?

  27. Sandgroper says

    You can’t compare degrees that way. You obviously have no idea how much is involved in degree accreditation. And these days, a first degree in engineering in America will get you an engineering technician’s job, for which IQ of 115 could be possible. To gain professional qualification, you need at least a Master’s, plus minimum about 5 years post-university professional training – and not everybody gets through that either. To become a biomedical engineer in America you need a degree in engineering + a degree in medicine, and you don’t get that with an IQ of 115. Those numbers are worthless.

  28. Lion of the Judah-sphere says

    Sandgroper doesn’t know what he’s talking about. What’s a first degree in engineering, and where in America do they offer that? A bachelor’s degree, together with passing the Professional Engineering exam, will allow one to be a professional engineer in America. And Steve Hsu’s has done studies showing that an IQ of 115-120 is necessary to achieve mastery of undergraduate mathematics/physics in typical North America universities– meaning that’s there’s likely people who major in those areas who have IQs much lower than that.

  29. Sandgroper says

    You are confusing state licensing with professional qualification.

    And a first engineering degree is self-explanatory unless your English comprehension is defective. In a lot of Anglo countries it will be called a bachelor’s degree, but this is not universal.

    And what made you think I was talking only about America? The Washington Accord is about international mobility of engineers. The company I work for has over 100,000 staff all over the globe, including in Russia and China, and we need to be mobile. And no, I won’t give you the name of the company.

    As it has become clear that I am talking to a brick wall, I am going to stop.