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The Impasse on Gender Differences in Intelligence: a Meta-Analysis on WISC Batteries

Giofrè, D.; Allen, K.; Toffalini, E.; Caviola, S.

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D. Giofrè

E. Toffalini

S. Caviola


This meta-analysis reviews 79 studies (N = 46,605) that examined the existence of gender difference on intelligence in school-aged children. To do so, we limited the literature search to works that assessed the construct of intelligence through the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC) batteries, evaluating eventual gender differences in indices and subtests. The theoretical framework we adopted is the cross-battery approach which locates cognitive abilities into different levels, also considering the possible mediating effect of the version of the WISC being used. As for broad abilities, a notable discrepancy emerged in favour of males for visual and crystallized intelligence, while female/male differences on fluid intelligence were negligible. Conversely, females’ performance on the processing speed factor was superior. Interesting results emerged at the subtest levels, albeit with less pronounced differences in performance. Results generally showed that older versions of WISC batteries displayed larger gender differences compared to the most recent ones.


Giofrè, D., Allen, K., Toffalini, E., & Caviola, S. (2022). The Impasse on Gender Differences in Intelligence: a Meta-Analysis on WISC Batteries. Educational Psychology Review, 34(4), 2543-2568.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 22, 2022
Publication Date 2022-12
Deposit Date Oct 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 22, 2023
Journal Educational Psychology Review
Print ISSN 1040-726X
Electronic ISSN 1573-336X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 4
Pages 2543-2568
Public URL


Published Journal Article (934 Kb)

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

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