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On the front page of The Sunday Times this week,  there were 2 main headlines: Thousands of doctors face the sack and Oh No! Volleyball cover up. There are serious issues with funding a comprehensive NHS and as a result, doctors and nurses may be forced to sign new contracts involving pay cuts, less holiday and longer shifts. Oh good, how to demotivate the people whom we may depend on for our lives but how else can the NHS be saved? Real front page news. Volleyball – accompanied with the obligatory photo of a fit girl in a bikini (and I am talking The Sunday Times here not The Sun page 3, or doesn’t it make a difference any more?) The gist is that if the weather turns cool, the ‘girls’ can wear long sleeves and leggings – at which point they risk losing their entire male spectatorship as the article states that a lot of high demand tickets will suddenly become available. Really? So when women put their clothes back on volleyball stops being an Olympic sport or did people just get honest? A third, much smaller article on the same page, (continued on page 2) confirms what some of us knew after reading about volleyball, that Women really are cleverer. Psychologists have found that women’s IQ scores have risen above men’s for the first time. We always lagged 5 points behind (cultural or test bias, anyone?) Over the last 100 years,, both men’s and women’s IQs have risen, especially in the developed world. James Flynn, world expert on IQ testing, explains this as ‘a consequence of increased complexity of the modern world’.  I think we all know whose lives are likely to be more complex. And yes, the latest research shows women’s IQs have risen faster than men’s.  Women’s capacity to multitask is apparently a key factor in developing their brains – raising families, caring for relatives and holding down demanding jobs.  Our brains are also lighter than men’s which neuroscience tells us means they function much more efficiently. However I think volleyball may have something to do with it. As men watch, their IQ probably decreases as they resort to using only the pre cortex, animal brain. Women viewers in contrast will be furiously problem solving- working out how long the diet would take, how often they would have to do one of those exercise DVDs they have somewhere, whether they would have to give up that glass of chardonnay with their girlfriends on an evening out, how much you have to wax and above all how do they fit so well in their bikinis? Why waste our talent on such trivia? Let’s just get out there and use those superior brains to solve all the big problems like achieving world peace, making flexibility work and finding ways to raise the next generation of citizens to be fair.

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