Race and Sex Differences in Head Size and IQ

Race and Sex Differences in Head Size and IQ

INTELLIGENCE 18, 309-333 (1994)

An analysis of IQ in relation to head size (and by inference, brain size) was performed on some 14,000 children and their full siblings, almost evenly divided by race (white and black) and sex, on whom data were obtained at ages 4 and 7 years in the National Collaborative Perinatal Project. Within each race X sex group, IQ is significantly correlated with head size, age and body size having been partialed out. A significant positive correlation between IQ X head size exists not only within subjects (at ages 4 and 7) but also within families and between families (at age 7 only). The within-families correlation (at age 7) is consistent with an intrinsic or pleiotropic correlation between the mental and physical variables. No significant positive correlation within families appeared at age 4, despite a significant within-subjects correlation at that age. As yet, there are only speculative explanations of the disparity between the age 4 and age 7 within-family correlations of head size with IQ. Although general body size is also correlated with IQ within subjects and between families, the correlation does not exist within families in either age group, which rules out a pleiotropic correlation between body size and IQ. There are both race and sex differences in head size, although the sex difference in IQ is nil. White and black children who are matched on IQ show, on average, virtually zero difference in head size.

Continue reading