The theory of gender intelligence was developed by Howard Gardner in 1993 after his extensive research work in the 1980s. In this theory, Gardner argues against socially engraved views that presuppose that peoples’ intelligence can only be measured about excellence in certain skills such as logic/mathematic, linguistic, music, and interpersonal (Weiten, 2005, p. 250).
Gardner believes that every person is predisposed to function and operate in their way. He continues to maintain that, regardless of the way a person chooses approach to learning and leading the general life, it always exhibits their intelligence than the usual views considered by the society around them (Weiten, 2005, p.250).
The theory identifies eight bits of intelligence, thus: Linguistic, Musical, Logical-Mathematical, Naturalist, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal, And Interpersonal. Howard attributed the theory of multiple intelligences to the existence of independent neurons in the human brain. This discussion focuses on the biases of intelligence based on Gardner’s theory of gender. However, he notes that it is not easy and practical to develop a single universally acceptable set of human intelligence (Gardner, 1983, p. 60).
What is intelligence?
Intelligence is a complex set of a person’s capacities and capabilities that affect his or her functioning either directly or indirectly. Therefore it can be defined in many ways. For example in a setting that values traditional perspectives of well-being, the concept of intelligence can be defined culturally. In a school-based environment where the emphasis is on curriculum, academic performance and co-curricular activities act as the means of studying intelligence. In this case, Howard defines intelligence from a cultural point of view. The eight bits of intelligence are coined in the cultural and functional facets of intelligence. The dominant view is that the inclination of certain intelligence to either female or male people depends on the unique ability that is demonstrated by the individual (Brualdi, 1996, p. 11).
All intelligence has an impact on a person’s success. The extent of variation between male and female persons is entirely dependent on the intelligence under the study. In this discussion, three bits of intelligence identified by Gardner are analyzed to determine its level of impact on an individual’s success. The three bits of intelligence are linguistic or verbal intelligence, spatial intelligence, and bodily/kinesthetic intelligence.
Linguistic or verbal intelligence is a person’s intrinsic and learned ability to use language extraordinarily. A person who has mastered many languages including a variety of vocabularies is said to possess linguistic intelligence. Traditionally, people have been successful in articulating the conditions of a society. For example, Winston Churchill was an average student in school but through his oratory skills, he coherently articulated the views of the masses and found prominence in England politics. He was smart out of class; his linguistic intelligence dominated his intelligence to display his brilliance in Britain and UK.
Spatial intelligence is generally the ability to develop and use mental maps. This form of intelligence is developed through travel and voyage. Like the other intelligence, spatial intelligence is developed out of passion; the inborn desire to go places combined with a strong liking of the place or location. For a person to be successful in any given location, the person must know the location very well. if the spatial intelligence of a person allows him or her to master the location, that he can even map it out, it is evident that he mounts greater courage and confidence that enables him to navigate the zone easily in case he needs to travel(Gardner, 1993, p. 100).
Similarly, spatial intelligence may guarantee a person’s safety because they are conversant with where they are. In this role, safety should not be mistaken for security. Spatial intelligence may lead a person to important findings of even other places visited before. Nevertheless, a person who can learn in his mind that a place is safe can have confidence in investing in the location thereby leading to his success (Gardner, 1983, p. 63).
Bodily/kinesthetic intelligence is demonstrated by one’s ability to master control over his or her body and achieve motion geared toward some specific activity. As a form of intelligence, kinesthesia may contribute to a person’s high ability to function as an exemplary dancer or athlete. In this respect, ladies are more talented than their male counterparts in dancing. However, in athletics and muscle sports, men perform better than ladies (Weiten, 2007, p.327).
In the view of Gardner, specific neurons in the human brain that make it maintain control over all the body are highly developed in females than in males. Therefore a person who may be talented in dance can do it for money while at the same time enjoying the music tunes she or he dances to. In this manner, the person shall have achieved happiness; one of the requisites and measurements of success.
Acting together: language, spatial intelligence, and kinesthesia
A person who has fully mastered the appearance of a specific place or location can map the location from his mind. In this case, the person uses his spatial intelligence and employs finger dexterity intelligence of kinesthesia to put down the idea. Classical explorers, Galileo and Walis are credited for this talent. For example, after several expeditions around an island, a person with spatial intelligence can easily navigate around the villages in the island even during poor weather that hinders visibility.
Language and Kinesthesia mix of intelligence is the function behind the art of writing. While defining a place in any known language to the speaker or the writer, language plays a role that is replaced by the action of the hand. Successful people in history have been known for their oratory skills, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Luther can be termed as gifted personalities who achieved great success by their knowledge of America’s geographical extent and the demographic variations of each location at the time (Weiten, 2007, p.332).
A combination of spatial intelligence and kinesthetic intelligence is the principle that makes smart drivers negotiate curved corners on a bumping road extremely skillfully. In the same way, experienced pilots who have flown jets for many years find it easy to take off and land safely; they have highly developed information coding systems in their brains because they are adequately acquainted with the language used. Another phenomenon is the skills displayed by high-speed motorsport competitors such as Motor GP and formula-1 drivers. Traditionally, they were considered very intelligent because of their maneuvers to control gadgets at high speed. However, according to Gardner’s theory, we learn that it is a combination of many bits of intelligence acting together to achieve some desired end.
Brualdi, Amy C. (1996). Multiple intelligences: Gardner’s theory. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 5(10). Web.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books Inc.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: the theory in practice. New York: Basic Books Inc.
Weiten, W. (2007). Psychology: Themes and Variations. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.