Journal of Biosocial Science

Short reports

Sex differences in primary cognitive abilities among blacks, Indians and whites in South Africa

Ken Owena1 and Richard Lynna2

a1 Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa

a2 Psychology Department, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Summary

Sex differences are reported for samples of approximately 1000 16-year-old blacks, Indians and whites in South Africa on ten tests of cognitive ability. Males obtained significantly higher means on non-verbal reasoning, spatial and mechanical aptitude, and females obtained significantly higher means on perceptual speed and memory for meaning (except among the black sample). In general the sex differences in South Africa are consistent with those typically obtained in the United States.

(Received March 16 1992)