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Sex Differences on the Mill-Hill Vocabulary Scale and Scholastic Achievement in Nigerian Public School Students

Richard Lynn and Yoon-Mi Hur

Published: 2021/09/01


Sex differences in verbal ability and scholastic achievement have rarely been examined in African populations. The present study investigated sex differences on the British Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale (MHVS) and scholastic achievement in English and Mathematics in a sample of 5,389 Nigerian public school students aged 11 to 19 years. The MHVS was significantly positively correlated with English and Mathematics, but the correlation was greater for English (r = .39, p < .01) than for Mathematics (r = .19, p < .01). Except for the 11-12 year olds, females obtained consistently higher scores than males on the MHVS and English. However, the differences were modest (average d = -0.11 for MHVS, d = -0.06 for English). There was a slight male superiority in performance in mathematics (d = 0.06). These results were largely consistent with findings from many Western samples. Keywords: Sex differences; Vocabulary; Verbal ability; Mathematics; Nigeria; Simber effect

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