JANET STREET PORTER: Of course we're smarter than men – but say so and you'll end up alone


01:07 GMT, 16 July 2012



08:16 GMT, 16 July 2012

Should women celebrate the fact that they are smarter than men According to psychologist James Flynn, a world-respected authority on IQ testing, we’re starting to overtake men for the first time.

As society has become more sophisticated in the century since the tests were invented, women have gradually caught up with men — and in some countries now score more highly.

As our world becomes more complex and we have to process information from many different sources, women are proving themselves very adaptable.

Woman in a bookshop

Bright spark Keep it behind closed doors

We already know that academically girls in the UK have been outpacing
boys for some time, achieving better degrees and more A levels.

Many young men seem to have lost their way — look at the numbers of 16
to 24-year-olds who are unemployable, lacking not just academic
qualifications but social skills, too. Girls often mature earlier and
seem more focused on what they want out of life.

Women are better at multi-tasking because it is a life-skill we practise every day without thinking about it.

We rarely say ‘I can’t do that’ — unfortunately, we say ‘OK, I’ll
manage’ far too often, with the result we’re trying to juggle too many
things from work to home to children and feel tired most of the time.

We should not crow about the fact that we could be smarter than men — let’s be honest, we knew it all along.

Instead, we should be concerned this latest research may undermine men’s
diminishing confidence even further. Have you noticed how many of them
are morphing back into big babies When the sun does come out, they
wear huge loose shorts with baggy T-shirts and giant trainers. They
dress like over-sized toddlers.

In short, many men have retreated into a pre-teen world, where they
don’t have to spend much time dealing with the nasty real world

They read comics. They can’t function without their toys — computer games, the latest phones and hi-fi equipment.

In short, many men have retreated into a pre-teen world, where they
don’t have to spend much time dealing with the nasty real world, where
they (probably) have a female boss and are often regarded as an
increasingly disposable member of the workforce.

All of this has an effect on their libido — many men are seeking counselling as they feel marginalised.

So, yes, I’m pleased that I’m a member of the smarter sex but even I
realise that modesty is a virtue. Women should beware of constantly
crowing about how superior we are — we could end up alone.

June Brown

Chris Moyles

Oldies: June Brown (left) and Chris Moyles, who has been dropped from Radio 1's Breakfast Show because the station wasn't attracting enough young people


The BBC is over-obsessed with age, in a way that seems a bit out of step with its audience.

Chris Moyles was dropped from Radio 1’s Breakfast Show because audience research indicated the station wasn’t attracting enough young people. (Ben Cooper, Radio 1’s controller, is 42 — four years older than Moyles).

What an old-fashioned notion that taste somehow gets safer as you get older. The 60-plus baby-boomer generation aren’t one homogenous group — they stretch across all social classes and incomes, and they don’t all like the Rolling Stones. I love Radio 1 at certain times of day — it’s great to hear new music. There are gems on all radio and TV stations, if you shop around.

Young people don’t listen to radio or watch television in any great numbers, they use the internet for downloads.

Zara Dampney

Popular: Zara in hot-weather garb

As for older viewers, BBC1 has been screening a series in which
overpaid presenters of a certain age investigate what it’s like to be
elderly in Britain today.

In When I Get Older, celebrity
pensioners John Simpson, Gloria Hunniford, Lesley Joseph and Tony
Robinson spend time with carefully chosen members of their generation.
June Brown made a moving documentary, shown last Thursday, in which she
visited her former East- Enders’ husband John Bardon, who suffered a
stroke and now needs 24-hour care.

Well-intentioned stuff but
we know pensioners have a raw deal. What they want from telly is fun
stuff to make them feel part of society and expand their world — not
documentaries designed to make them even more depressed about their lot.


WOMEN’S football is one of the Olympics events where tickets have been slow to sell-out — a shame as we have an excellent team competing for the first time, who stand a good chance of winning a medal. Their performance is bound to be better than the England men’s dismal show in Euro 2012.

One sport attracting a disproportionate amount of publicity and whose tickets have been highly sought-after (I wonder why) is the women’s beach volleyball, which will be staged outside in Horse Guards Parade.

But could the inclement weather ruin the spectacle Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin, competing for Britain, have disclosed they will be allowed to wear long-sleeved shirts and leggings if the temperature drops below 16C — as it has done every day so far this month.

If that happens, expect temperatures amongst the (male) spectators to plummet accordingly.

Martin Sorrell

Olympic torch bearer: Martin Sorrell

The latest to hoist the burnished toilet brush holder aloft for a single mile will be multi-millionaire businessmen Martin Sorrell, described as a ‘long-term friend and adviser of the Olympic movement’. Advertising boss Sorrell (pictured) is to receive a pay package of 13 million this year.

I’ve been following the Real Relay — started by runners disgusted that for much of the official route, the torch is carried in a van surrounded by security vehicles. The Real Relay is carried by runners who keep going 24 hours a day in stages of around ten miles.

So far, they’ve scaled some impressive peaks, and today they head to Jersey and Guernsey, raising money for Chicks, a charity giving disadvantaged children breaks in the countryside.

It’s an enterprise much more in keeping with the Olympic Spirit — and it isn’t sponsored by junk food.


E. L. James, the author of Fifty Shades Of Grey, has made so much money from selling more than 20   million copies of her book — dubbed ‘mummy porn’ — she’s keen to trade in her terraced house in West London for a swanky mansion currently owned by Anna Ford.

I still haven’t managed to find any women who admit to finishing this twaddle, but I laughed out loud at the news that it caused a row involving brown sauce.

Raymond Hodgson was so upset when his girlfriend began reading the book, he arrived at her house with a bottle of sauce to ‘show her what saucy really meant’. When she opened her door, he squirted the sauce everywhere, including on her walls. He’s had to pay 100 compensation, and has received a curfew and a community service order.

I can sympathise— brown sauce in your face must be highly unpleasant.
I had a similar experience — one of my former husbands got so annoyed with me going out to meet friends, he foolishly blocked my path to the front door, squirting a tube of salad cream all over me.

It didn’t work as a deterrent as I changed into something else after he’d emptied the tube, and when I told the person I was meeting, he said: ‘Salad cream I didn’t think you’d have anything so naff in your house!’