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Thread: Why Male IQ is More Variable

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    Why Male IQ is More Variable

    The male female difference in the variance of quantitative traits including IQ can be accounted for by the observation of the concentration of genes involved in brain development on the X chromosome and by the mechanism of sex determination in mammals. Females have two X chromosomes with one randomly inactivated. Males have a single X chromosome, which results in increased variance. It is shown that these factors are sufficient to account for the observed differences.
    http://precedings.nature.com/documents/3238/version/1

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    I don't understand the logic behind the notion that the random deactivization of one of females' pair of X-chromosomes will result in less variability. As a rule, randomness leads to more diversity, not more uniformity.

    Without getting into the scientific details and mechanisms that help shape human biology, I think it's fairly easy to understand the relatively uneven distribution of intelligence among males, simply by looking at human history, and what traits made for a successful male or female, respectively.
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    The random deactivation of one X-chromosome happens within each cell. That averages the effects of the two chromosomes in the woman.

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    Having only one X chromosome also makes males more likely to have disabilities or be stillborn because if either the X or the Y chromosome is significantly damaged then the male offspring will be either disabled, mentally handicapped or stillborn. In females though because of their two X chromosomes if they inherit faults in one of them (from either the mother or the father), the other X chromosome sort of fills in the blanks and means the disability either won't be as severe or won't even manifest at all.

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