Portal Site for Russellian in Japan
On mental differences between boys and girls
[From: Mortals and Others, v.1, 1975.］
最近私は，男女間の差別がないように配慮された環境で育てられた幼い少年と少女の集団を観察する機会をもった。（訳注：ラッセルが創設し経営した幼児学校 Beacon Hill Shcool のことを指していると思われる。）そこでは,男女の別なくまったく同じ教育がほどこされていた。そこでは,両性に提供される教育はまったく同じであった。少年も少女も自由を与えれば与えるほど,より一層少年は男らしく，少女は女らしくなるのを私は発見した。少年は，（授業以外の）余暇には飛行機や自動車や電気といったものについて話をし，少女は人形を好み，玩具の家を組み立てたり，ペットの面倒を見たり，裁縫や手芸といったものを好んだ。少女のより広範な知的興味が喚起されるとしたら,それは物理学よりも生物学を通してであろう。少年と少女の間のこれらの差異は，生得的であり,ほとんど普遍的なものであろう。
The feminists of a generation ago were inclined to minimise the inevitable differences between men and women and to ascribe the differences which are observed to education rather than to nature. They thought that a little feminine tyranny would make men as virtuous as women and a little masculine training would make women as intelligent as men. With these hopes they proceeded to a heroic campaign for the emancipation of women. Their hopes, however, have not been realised. Some assimilation there has been : there is no longer a double standard, but this result has been achieved, so far as the young are concerned mainly by approximating the standard for women to that for men, not by the opposite process for which the pioneer women hoped. As regards intelligence, the attempts to ignore native differences are beginning to seem a mistake. A great deal of the scholastic education of men is worthless, and it is a pity to inflict it on women. The most important part of men's education is the most masculine, namely, that concerned with science and machinery, and it is this part especially which almost always fails to arouse feminine interest.
I have had in recent years opportunity to observe a group of very young boys and girls brought up in a careful atmosphere of sex equality where the education offered to the two sexes is precisely the same. I have found that the more freedom boys and girls have, the more masculine and feminine they respectively become. Boys spend all their leisure talking about aeroplanes and motor cars and electricity, and such topics. Girls like dolls, constructing play houses, looking after pet animals, sewing, arts : and crafts, and so on. If their wider intellectual interests are to be aroused, it must be through biological rather than physical sciences. I think this difference between boys and girls is innate and nearly universal.
It would be foolish to draw the inference that female intelligence is inferior to that of the male. Men have set a standard of intelligence and have instinctively set it to suit themselves; they have created a mechanical civilisation which largely ignores human values. Women left to themselves would, I believe, never have invented machines. But if they had been able freely to contribute to the sum total of civilisation, they would not have forgotten to preserve what is valuable in human life and would not have been led astray, as men have been, by a blind worship of mechanical ingenuity.
The older feminists were wrong, I think, in supposing men and women to be alike by nature and differing only by training, but they were right in thinking that men and women should be equals and have an equal contribution to make to civilisation. The contribution which women's nature would enable them to make, they have not yet been able to make, because they have not been free. They have been exposed to an education designed for men, and they have been debarred by prudery from the kind of education which would have most developed their faculties. This state of affairs, however, is rapidly improving, and I think we may hope that before many decades have passed women will be in a position to be no longer either restrictive or imitative but genuinely creative in important ways for which their faculties are more adapted than those of men.