Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/381

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A STATISTICAL STUDY OF EMINENT MEN.

I have spoken throughout of eminent men as we lack in English words including both men and women, but as a matter of fact women do not have an important place on the list. They have in all 32 representatives in the thousand. Of these eleven are hereditary sovereigns and eight are eminent through misfortunes, beauty or other circumstances. Belleslettres and fiction the only department in which woman has accomplished much—give ten names (of which three are in the first 500) as compared with 72 men. Sappho and Joan d'Arc are

PSM V62 D381 Statistical curves of human accomplishments by nationality.png

The Curves Show the Relative Contribution of Different Nations to Different Lines of Activity.

the only other women on the list. It is noticeable that with the exception of Sappho a name associated with certain fine fragments—women have not excelled in poetry or art. Yet these are the departments least dependent on environment and at the same time those in which the environment has been perhaps as favorable for women as for men. Women depart less from the normal than man—a fact that usually holds for the female throughout the animal series; in many closely related species only the males can be readily distinguished. The distribution of women is represented by a narrower bell-shaped curve.[1]


  1. Since the above was written Professor Karl Pearson has questioned the lesser variability of woman. The matter can only be decided by facts; these statistics certainly show greater variability for the male.