Greater Male Variability Hypothesis

From, the incel encyclopedia

The greater male variability hypothesis, aka the variability hypothesis, states that males experience greater variability in sexual preference than females.[1]

The theory is also broadened to include variability in other traits. For example, the theory claims men have greater variability in general social attitudes, behaviours, intelligence, strength, other physical traits, genetic variation, etc... than women. The only exception being fear and emotionality, in which women show greater variability.[2]

History of the hypothesis[edit]

Early history[edit]

The idea of men being more intra-sexually heterogenous than women in physical traits dates back to at least Charles Darwin, who stated his belief in such in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.

Sexologist Havelock Ellis famously expanded on this to include mental traits being more variable among men than women, in, "Man and Women: A study of human sexual characters" where he wrote[3]

By the 1890’s several studies had been conducted to demonstrate that variability was indeed more characteristic of males...The biological evidence overwhelmingly favored males as the more variable sex.

—Havelock Ellis

Modern Studies[edit]

Modern studies confirm men are more variable than women in intelligence[4][5], mathematical ability and visuospacial ability[6][7], and science and reading ability.[8]

See also[edit]


  2. Hyde, Janet Shibley. "Gender Similarities and Differences." The Annual Review of Psychology. 2014. 65:3.1–3.26 doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115057.</ref
  3. The variability hypothesis: The history of a biological model of sex differences in intelligence". Signs. 7 (4): 769–797. doi:10.1086/493921. JSTOR 3173639.
  4. journal|author1=Machin, S. |author2=Pekkarinen, T. |title=Global Sex Differences in Test Score Variability|journal=Science|year=2008|volume=322|pmid=19039123|pages=1331–2|doi=10.1126/science.1162573|issue=5906}}
  5. journal|first =Larry V. | last = Hedges |author2=Nowell, Amy | title=Sex Differences in Mental Test Scores, Variability, and Numbers of High-Scoring Individuals | journal=Science| year=1995 | volume=269 | pages=41–45 | doi=10.1126/science.7604277|pmid =7604277|issue =5220 | bibcode=1995Sci...269...41H
  6. Halpern, Diane F. et all. "The Science of Sex Differences in Science and Mathematics." Psychological Science in the Public Interest. Volume: 8 issue: 1, page(s): 1-51, Issue published: August 1, 2007.
  7. Lindberg, Sara M.,Hyde, Janet Shibley,Petersen, Jennifer L.,Linn, Marcia C. "New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis." Psychological Bulletin, Vol 136(6), Nov 2010, 1123-1135.
  8. journal |last1=Feingold |first1=A. |title=Gender differences in variability in intellectual abilities: A cross-cultural perspective |journal=Sex Roles |date=1994 |volume=30 |issue=1–2 |pages=81–92 |doi=10.1007/BF01420741