Gender differences

The table below shows the mean SAS scores and standard deviation for each of the CAT4 batteries and for primary and secondary schools. The results are based on 2,578 females and 2,792 males from primary schools; 9,471 females and 9,867 males from secondary schools.

Verbal Reasoning scores in primary schools are on average around 1.5 SAS points higher for females than for males. In contrast, Spatial and Quantitative Reasoning scores are around 1.5 SAS points higher for males than for females. There is not much of a gender difference for Nonverbal reasoning.

In secondary schools the Quantitative Reasoning scores are on average around two SAS points lower for females than for males. Average gender score differences for the other CAT4 batteries are smaller – all within one SAS point.

The spread of scores as measured by the standard deviation is in general greater for males than for females. Therefore you are more likely to get proportionately more males than females having the extreme low or high SAS scores.

Verbal-Spatial profile

The table below shows the proportion of males and females within the verbal-spatial profile for primary and secondary schools.

Note: Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding

A total of 19% of females in primary schools have a verbal bias (mild, moderate and extreme categories) compared to 13% of males. In contrast, 19% of males in primary schools have a spatial bias compared with 13% of females.

A total of 20% of females in secondary schools have a verbal bias compared to 15% of males. In contrast, 22% of males in secondary schools have a spatial bias compared with 13% of females.

The gender difference among those with an extreme bias to spatial thinking are more striking. Overall, 2.3% of males show this profile, compared with only 0.8% of females. The bias is less differentiated by gender for those with an extreme bias to verbal thinking, with overall 1.8% of females and 1.3% of males being this category.