Mens' brains are around 14 per cent bigger than womens'
Researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam hoped to crack the age old query with a study analysing volunteers’ brains to compare the male and female organs.
Testing 900 people, scientists conducted a series of MRI scans on participants aged 22 to 37 as part of the Human Connectome Project.
In a shocking discovery, the team found the answer to the much debated question – and can now reveal that male brains are in fact bigger.
However, to even out the debate, that’s not all they found as the study also showed women's brains are used more efficiently.
Scientists conducted a series of MRI scans on participants aged 22 to 37
According to the tests, women score better in memory tests than their male counterparts – despite their brains being 14 per cent smaller on average.
But the latest research from the Netherlands also found women are less intelligent than men by 3.75 IQ points on average and do significantly worse in tests of spatial ability.
Lead author Dr Dimitri van der Linden said: “We found that men’s brains are larger than women’s and our analysis suggests this is the reason for lower average general intelligence across a range of tests."
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We found that men’s brains are larger than women’s and our analysis suggests this is the reason for lower average general intelligence
Lead author Dr Dimitri van der Linde
He added: “We are aware of previous research suggesting women’s brains are better organised or process information more efficiently but we did not look at this in our study.”
He added that the size of the male brain is the reason for their higher IQs, although he also admitted that "female brains are better organised and process information more efficiently".
Brain size in the sexes is a hotly debated topic in the scientific community.
Researchers analysed volunteers’ brains to compare the male and female organs
Dr Joseph Devlin, head of experimental psychology at University College London, said: “This is a well-researched study but the evidence is not strong enough to prove that larger male brains are more intelligent than smaller female brains, which makes it a leap of faith, using a measure of general intelligence which has little basis.
“Men and women’s brains are different and we know spatial navigation is slightly better in men than women, while women tend to have a better vocabulary.
“But we should be sceptical of claims that men are smarter than women, especially when there is little to no evidence for that and lots of evidence to the contrary.”