Ever wondered why there are more male presidents, lawyers, accountants, managers, astronauts, scientists, chefs and even fashion designers in this world? Do we really give in to the fact that this is a male-dominated world that we’re living in? Well, perhaps the result of a recent Canadian study can give a concrete answer to these questions. The study was on the long-debated issue whether males have a higher intelligence quotient (IQ) than women.
The latest study by Canadian scientists used the 145-item Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) which was administered to 100,000 students aged 17-18. It found that, based on the SAT scores, men’s IQ is 4-5 points higher than women upon reaching adulthood. J. Philippe Rushton, psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario and one of the authors of the study, said “male advantage showed in every level of family income, for every level of fathers’ and mothers’ education, and for each and every one of 7 ethnic groups.” This finding was published in the September 2006 issue of the journal Intelligence. It also supports earlier studies which used different methods.
A previous study conducted by the University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland also found that men consistently did better than women in general knowledge and even in fields thought to be for women such as fashion. The findings were based on two separate studies of 1,500 university students. These studies were done to erase doubts on earlier IQ research including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) of the 1950’s that showed males have higher intelligence than women. The WAIS method, considered as the father of all IQ tests, was questioned as the small and selected items covered favored only male interests. This result challenged the Irish researchers to formulate a more massive test that included 182 questions covering 19 areas of general knowledge such as politics, sports, arts, music, fashion, science, finance and cooking. And what did they discover? That men still got higher scores than women. According to the Irish researchers this was so because males are more focused on competition with other males especially for power and status the reason why they scored high in current affairs, games, sports, physical health and recreation; while females are more concerned with family.
Other relevant studies that confirmed men’s high IQ compared to women include:
• A 1992 study of 1,261 adults done by C. Davison Ankney proving that men’s brain are 8% heavier than women’s;
• A 1997 study in Denmark saying that men have 15% more neurons (the functional units of the brain) than women.
Meanwhile, a study by the University of California Irvine (UCI) published in NeuroImage found that although there are differences in the brain areas of males and females, no disparities were noted in their general intelligence. The study revealed that women have more white matter while men have more gray matter linked to intellectual skills. The white matter represents the networking of and connections between information processing centers, whereas the gray matter represents the information processing centers of the brain. Authors of the study stressed that this may explain why men excel in tasks that need more local processing such as mathematics while women are good in integrating information such as those required in language skills. It concluded that “no single neuroanatomical structure determines general intelligence and that different types of brain designs can produce equivalent intellectual performance.”
Role of Hormones
Sex hormones have likewise been found to play an important role in brain development and function. They affect the development of certain brain structures in puberty which go on until adulthood. Isn’t it that they call men as “right-brained?” The reason for this is because the right hemisphere of the brain is said to develop more intensely if the fetus is exposed to testosterone early in its development stage. Hormonal changes also affect a person’s cognitive abilities. This is apparent in women throughout their menstrual cycle and seasonally in men as their testosterone levels change.
Unfortunately, while men have higher IQ, their risk of suicide is also at its peak. A study on four IQ tests done in the military service in Sweden showed that the suicide risk was three times higher among those who got the lowest scores while a low risk was noted for those who performed better in the tests. The 26-year study of 487,308 Swedish men found that influences on brain development during childhood increase a person’s susceptibility to mental disorders leading to suicide. It further explained that the risk of suicide is related to a person’s ability to solve problems during crisis or periods of adjustment to traumas experienced during childhood.
On the other hand, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says 75-80% of college students who commit suicide are boys although more are girls. This was concluded because boys are more involved in aggressive and violent behavior compared to girls. Of the boys found to have suicidal tendencies, 95% suffer mental illness especially depression.
Okay, so congratulations first to all men for being confirmed as more intelligent than women. But overall, this latest study should not deter women from excelling in various fields dominated by men. After all, we have several women achievers already around. It’s coexisting harmoniously in this world that matters. It’s not important whether who’s more intelligent than who. It’s how we lead our life, take care of our families and pursue our goals the right and legal way that count.
Because they provide a needed break from the rigors of academic life, video games can be a lifesaver in college. Your brain is on overdrive at least 20 hours of every day—why not take an hour out every once in a while to let your gray matter rest a little? Playing a mindless video game can provide a good outlet for academic stressors. But while gaming by yourself can be fun, there’s nothing better than playing games with a bunch of other people. Below are some of the best party video games that every dorm floor or apartment should have.
Everyone knows Guitar Hero—even if you haven’t played it, you certainly understand the concept (and if you’ve been living under a rock, go to http://www.guitarhero.com/ and check it out). Take a plastic guitar and start ripping out chords to popular songs. Just press the colored buttons on the guitar as they come up on the screen and you’ll be jamming. Sounds easy, right? Wrong—be prepared for one of the most challenging tests of hand-eye coordination that you’ve ever had. Fortunately, the game provides four levels of difficulty so that you can hone your skills before trying to show up the greatest guitar players of all time on songs from Avenged Sevenfold, Nirvana, Slayer, Pearl Jam, Fall of Troy, Guns N’ Roses, Senses Fail, Van Halen, and many others. . A group of friends, a big TV and stereo, and some beer will make for a Guitar Hero battle for the ages!
This is a classic party game that has been around for a long time. And why not? What could be better than racing at ridiculous speeds around brightly-colored animated tracks and blasting the hell out of each other as cute cartoon characters like Mario, Bowser, Peach, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi? Mario Kart is tough to top for sheer fun factor. Playing on the Wii adds a new dimension to the game, as you can now use a wheel to direct your kart instead of the directional pad on a traditional controller. Don’t be fooled by the whimsical environment of this game—it can get very competitive very quickly and lead to some pretty serious rivalries!
This may not appeal to as many people as Guitar Hero or Mario Kart, but it cannot be left off of a list of the best party video games. N64’s GoldenEye was a pioneer of the multiplayer shooter game, paving the way for games like Halo, Gears of War, and Call of Duty. Instructions are simple: choose your character, then stay alive as long as possible while taking out your opponents. You can choose a variety of levels and weapons. As it’s a very easy game to become familiar with, all you need to do is fire it up and start shooting!
These are only a few of the popular party video games; as you spend more time at parties, you’re likely to see more games. A great way to get a lot of people together is to have an old-school video game party: play games like Duck Hunt, Sonic, and Mario Brothers. It’s like going back in time for a few hours!
On disputes transcending national boundaries, the UN World Court works.
When the United Nations (UN) vowed to uphold international peace and security as well as encourage friendly relations between countries, it established the UN World Court specifically to resolve disputes between nations.
The UN World Court comes in several names: International Court of Justice, ICJ, and Cour Internationale de Justice. The successor of the Permanent Court of International Justice, it was established in 1945, and began performing its duties in 1946. Its base is located at the Peace Palace at The Hague, The Netherlands. English and French serve as its official languages.
Fifteen judges, each one of various nationalities, make up the Court. They have been elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council to nine-year terms of office. These judges-members are devoid of any affiliation with their respective countries of citizenship. For impartiality, each one is an independent magistrate. Needless to say, the judges must be well versed in international laws and their qualifications must make them suitable for appointment to the highest judicial offices in their respective countries.
The Court Rules
The World Court forms part of the main structure on which the UN stands steadily. As the UN’s principal judicial organ, the Court has dual functions: one, to settle contentious cases or disputes submitted by states; and two, to give advisory opinions on legal questions submitted by duly authorized international organs and agencies. It does these functions in observance of the Statute of the International Court of justice, the main constitutional document that constitutes and regulates this justice body.
In effect, the World Court has “global” jurisdictions. However, it is not the same as, nor related to, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the War Crimes Law (Belgium). Unlike these bodies, in the first place, the UN World Court cannot prosecute individuals.
Instead, the Court assesses and rules state-to-state disputes. No other court does this. Palestine versus Israel over West Bank barrier. Cameroon versus Nigeria over Bakassi Peninsula. Bosnia versus Belgrade. These are some of the disputes over which the Court has made interventions and decisions. These disputes concern various issues ranging from land frontiers and territorial sovereignty to hostage taking, right of asylum and nationality, rights of passage, guardianship, etc.
Only internationally-recognized states may apply to and appear before the World Court . These states must accept the World Court’s jurisdiction for it to hear a case. Similar to other courts, a case commences once parties file and exchange written submissions. Following this is the oral phase, which consists of public hearings.
Only after hearing these oral submissions will the World Court deliberate in a camera. Judgment, arrived at by voting, is then delivered at a public sitting. The decisions are based on international treaties and conventions in force.
The World Court ’s decisions are binding, final and without appeal. Should one of the states involved fail to comply with such decision, the other party may take it up to the UN Security Council. Furthermore, some countries have refused to accept its rulings. As of February 2006, the World Court has delivered 92 judgments and 11 pending cases.
However this binding quality does not apply to its other main function – that is, giving advisory opinions. Rather, its opinions are only consultative in nature. Also, only international organizations can request for these opinions. As of February 2006, the World Court has given 25 opinions. Commonly sought for opinions are issues on UN membership, legality of threat or use of nuclear weapons, status of human rights rapporteurs, human cloning, among others.
Rulings and Controversies
The UN World Court is not spared from controversial issues over its rulings.
A highly controversial case was that of the United States versus Nicaragua in 1984. Nicaragua complained about the activities of the Contra rebels, which were supported by the US; arguing that such US intervention on Nicaragua’s internal affairs was in violation of the key principles of international law. This was a hot case, not only because of the issues directly connected to the case, but also because this was a dispute between a small nation and a superpower, one that has been a founder of the UN and the World Court itself. Despite the US’ role and contributions in this judicial body, the Court ruled in favor of Nicaragua. United States walked out.
More recently, in the case of the West Bank Barrier between Palestine and Israel in 2004, the Court ruled against Israel ’s building of the barrier, saying it violated international law and should thus be dismantled. This construction of the barrier, which Israel started building in 2002 for protection from Palestinian would-be suicide bombers, has involved confiscation of Palestinian land and diminished economic survival for Palestinian farmers and traders. The decision however was advisory and not binding.
In 1977, Argentina rejected the Court’s ruling giving possession of the Beagle Islands to Chile . It was only due to the Pope’s interference that prevented war.
These and many other cases illustrate not only the contentious cases the Court handles as well as its impartiality, which is so important in any court body.
Globalization has made us connect farther into our neighboring nations and deeper into places once unknown to others. While such connection has reaped many benefits, it has also revealed the so many and ever increasing conflicts among communities of nations. The rich gets richer while the poor gets more deprived of its own rights and resources.
World peace? To guard and protect it, we have international laws that regulate relations between nations, thus providing frameworks for cooperation and existence. The application of international laws promotes international order. This is what the World Court keeps working on.
In the face of globalization, the World Court’s works have never been more in demand. It continues to gear up for the challenges. In its 60th anniversary last April 12, 2006, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stressed the importance of the World Court in promoting peace and justice throughout the world. He urged all states that have not recognized compulsory jurisdiction of the Court to do so and encouraged nations to consider submitting disputes.
True enough, the Court cannot perform its duties if it is not recognized; nor can it even begin to hear cases if nations remain silent. With the UN World Court‘s crucial work around the globe, world peace does not have to remain a cliché.