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From genius inverts to gendered intelligence: Lewis Terman and the power of the norm

Hegarty, P (2007) From genius inverts to gendered intelligence: Lewis Terman and the power of the norm History of Psychology, 10 (2). pp. 132-155.

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The histories of "intelligence" and "sexuality" have largely been narrated separately. In Lewis Terman's work on individual differences, they intersect. Influenced by G. Stanley Hall, Terman initially described atypically accelerated development as problematic. Borrowing from Galton, Terman later positioned gifted children as nonaverage but ideal. Attention to the gifted effeminate subjects used to exemplify giftedness and gender nonconformity in Terman's work shows the selective instantiation of nonaverageness as pathological a propos of effeminacy, and as ideal a propos of high intelligence. Throughout, high intelligence is conflated with health, masculinity, and heterosexuality. Terman's research located marital sexual problems in women's bodies, further undoing possibilities for evaluating heterosexual men's practices as different from a normative position. Terman's research modemized Galton's imperialist vision of a society lead by a male cognitive elite. Psychologists continue to traffic in his logic that values and inculcates intelligence only in the service of sexual and gender conformity.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 2007
Uncontrolled Keywords : Lewis Terman; intelligence; sexuality; gender; normativity personality
Additional Information : © 2007 American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 18 Jul 2014 10:50
Last Modified : 18 Jul 2014 13:33

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