I am generally open minded, but for the longest time I have believed that the two areas in which women were simply inferior to men were weightlifting and chess. I concluded the latter back in my chess playing days when I was perusing the ratings tables in Chess Life & Review. If I had been a woman, my rating would have placed me in the top ten women in the United States. As a man, I wasn't even in the top thousand. That doesn't mean NO women could beat me, but it does suggest amazingly few...and there were many men in the "no woman could beat me" category. Yes, I'm sure that women are not encouraged to play chess as much as men are (not that a "nerd" reputation is all THAT prized even among men), but the difference just seemed SO extreme there had to be some sort of biological factor.
Now I see this study. In short: no. Now I'm not saying this study (42 pairs of various skill levels) completely dispels my notion - how many of those pairs were tournament level players? - but it certainly weakens my case...and it would provide another explanatory mechanism if women just like to lose (to a guy - the women apparently played harder if they THOUGHT they were playing against another woman).
Any of you girls want to help me out lifting this heavy package?