Women Are Outpacing Men In Intelligence

Who run the world? Girls.

smart women
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A good life is the key to a good mind. Thanks to improved living conditions, better healthcare, and education, people's cognitive abilities everywhere have been increasing. In simpler terms, because we're leading better lives, we're getting smarter. But this cognitive improvement isn't equal across the board. A recent study from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden (opens in new tab) done across 13 countries (opens in new tab) shows that the cognitive abilities of women (opens in new tab) are increasing at a faster pace than men.

This isn't the first difference studies have shown in the cognitive abilities of men and women (opens in new tab). Men have long been better able to deal with numbers and are superior at rotating objects in their minds. On the other side of the spectrum, women have stronger episodic memories, meaning that they can more easily recall specific information such as facts, experiences, and events. However, the male competitive edge when it comes to numerical abilities has dwindled over time. Women, who have faced limited access to education in the past, could also just be making up for lost time thanks to more equal opportunities when it comes to learning. Don't expect this increase to a set a new standard, either. In general, women and men's cognitive abilities tend to overlap.

The good news is that no matter if you're a man or a woman, we're all getting smarter. Right now, women are just doing so at a faster pace than their male counterparts.

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.