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Will it ever be "politically" correct to suggest that there may be inate differences between the "hardwiring" of the male and female brain?

We see a profound difference between the level of excellence in chess between men and women. Is this an inate difference or a learned difference? In many Eastern European countries women were strongly encouraged to participate in chess, yet the strongest women were about two tiers below the strongest men. Even today only one woman, Hungarian Judit Polgar, cracked the top 10.

The same can be said about the highest levels of physics and math. If this is simply described as a fact, then the "perpetrator" is apt to be called sexist for stating a simple fact. Women excel in other areas but the question here is it acceptable to talk about inate differences between men and women without rancor? What are the differences? How much is nature and how much is nurture? Or is this just a politically incorrect topic not worthy of discussion?


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    Nov 9 2012: "Men and women are different." Is that a politically incorrect or rancorous observation? Not to a reasonable, intelligent person it isn't.
    Let's take another observation: "Men are better chess players and better at math problem solving than women." Uh oh! Now we have a problem. There are several possible explanations for the scarcity of female International Grand Master chess players and Nobel prize winning mathematicians. The least likely explanation for the high ratio of men to women is that men are better than women. More likely there are other factors at play. The second observation is logically fallacious. The first is a proven, necessary fact of nature, to deny it is illogical. If there is an implication of qualitative superiority, i.e. Men are more intelligent than women, that is when the fur flies, and rightly so.
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      Nov 10 2012: I agree entirely... Where it gets a bit weird in modern society... Is when you say things like "There is a statistically significant difference in the number of men who reach the highest level of chess, than women"... and someone reframes it as "He said men are better at women than chess". I think that might be the unfair attribution of sexism this author refers to.
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        Nov 10 2012: Women have ovaries and men do not. Men have a "Y" chromosome and women do not. Men are better at sports than women. Which of those three statements is sexist? Is this post asking if people have trouble telling the difference?
      • Nov 12 2012: I should have read the entire article! Even the argument that boys exhibit more "variance" and thus are disproportionately represented at the upper end of math excellence is being questioned. In some countries girls even outscore boys in math! One conclusion this article emphasizes is that the closer we come to gender equality the more the scores of both boys and girls increase. Thus, the primary difference appears to be societal.
    • Nov 12 2012: We cannot overstate the importance of peer pressure, but a basic "factual" concept I thought was cast in stone isn't! Consider this statement from a website called, "Surprise! Gender Equality Makes Everyone Better at Math!

      "Over the past generation, standardized tests in the United States have seen that gender gap disappear. First among elementary and middle schoolers, then among high schoolers, and, today, male and female students achieve identical average math scores on SAT's." However, this is an average and doesn't deal with the outliers.

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