Many sexual differences are so blatantly obvious that media obfuscation of them can't be taken seriously by most people. Anyone who has played coed sports or visited a gym in their lifetimes can intuit that men are faster and physically stronger than women, especially from the waist up. And unlike interracial mingling, which is an uncommon experience for large swaths of the American population, virtually everyone living outside of a convent interacts with both men and women on a daily basis. Although the feminist push to merge distinct expectations for men (bring home the bacon, man up, etc) and women (raise children, restrict sexual access, etc) together, cultural traditions and biological realities are tenacious little buggers.
Racial expectations, in contrast, don't differ much. Society, by and large, doesn't define success for white men differently than it defines success for black men--top male athletes, CEOs, BAMFs, and the like are celebrated in the West whatever their race, while men who are weak and uncoordinated, have low earning power, and are whiny or apprehensive, are correspondingly held in low esteem. Athleticism, earning power, and toughness are not factors women, irrespective of race, are judged nearly as acutely on--in contrast, excelling in any of these areas has potentially deleterious effects for women in the status market.
Two high profile individuals, familiar to those in the Steveosphere, illustrate the much greater toleration for discussion of sexual differences than of racial ones. After having suggested that a wider normal distribution of IQ scores for men relative to women accounts for the disproportionate number of men among top science and research institutions, Larry Summers went on to be appointed director of the National Economic Council by President Obama. James Watson was forced out of Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, which he'd spent almost four decades building into a premier research and educational institution, for suggesting that sub-Saharan Africans have lower IQs than people of European descent, and consequently Western solutions to African problems are flawed from their beginnings.
The following table shows differences in responses, by sex (for whites only), to the science module of items deployed by the GSS during 2004 and 2006 (except for the last 3 questions, which were asked in 1993, 1994, and 2000). Some of the questions are inverted from the GSS for viewer ease so that in all cases, the higher the percentage, the more knowledgeable the group is. Black indicates relatively better performance; red indicates poorer performance:
|Astrology is not scientific||68.8%||65.0%|
|The benefits of science exceed the harms||74.0%||73.6%|
|Understands the need for control groups in testing||81.7%||80.4%|
|The earth's core is very hot||91.7%||88.3%|
|Demonstrates a basic understanding of probability||96.2%||92.3%|
|Not all radioactivity is man-made||82.2%||81.2%|
|Father, not mother, determines a child's sex||66.5%||80.8%|
|Lasers are not made by condensing sound waves||80.1%||57.6%|
|Electrons are smaller than atoms||74.0%||69.9%|
|Antibiotics do not kill viruses||53.6%||64.5%|
|Continental drift has and continues to occur||91.3%||87.9%|
|Humans evolved from other animals||57.2%||44.9%|
|The earth revolves around the sun||84.2%||75.1%|
|It takes the earth one year to rotate around the sun||80.9%||74.4%|
|Respondent will eat genetically modified foods||75.9%||64.5%|
|The north pole is on a sheet of ice||68.4%||60.1%|
|Not all man-made chemicals cause cancer when eaten||51.9%||46.5%|
|Exposure to radioactivity doesn't necessarily lead to death||74.7%||68.1%|
|Exposure to pesticides doesn't necessarily cause cancer||66.7%||54.9%|
The types of people who are into astrology are the same types of people who self-describe as "spiritual, but not religious". These types of people are women more often than not.
Women do better on questions dealing with nurturing and physical well-being, while men do better on everything else. Even where women on incorrect on this account, as in the cases of pesticides and or radiation exposure, they error on the side of caution. The thinking goes something like, "Even if it is more costly and less efficient to use pesticides or nuclear energy, you can't put a price on my health or the health of my children".
Just as you will rarely hear in the media that NAMs are more inclined towards creationism than whites are, the fact that women are more hostile towards evolution than men are is similarly squelched. That white men (and Asian men even more so) are the biggest bulwark against creationism being introduced into science education curricula around the country would give the NYT fits, so the newspaper ignores it.
GSS variables used: SEX, RACECEN1(1), RACE(1), ASTROSCI, SCIBNFTS, EXPDESGN, ODDS1, HOTCORE, RADIOACT, BOYORGRL, LASERS, ELECTRON, VIRUSES, CONDRIFT, EVOLVED, EARTHSUN, SOLARREV, EATGM, ICESHEET, SCITEST5, GRNTEST1, GRNTEST5