Because chess is competitive and mentally demanding, yet objectively measured, the resulting studies of gendered performance can potentially be more conclusive and less contentious than other approaches to this subject have been. Often, comparisons of male and female brains appear to pathologize the female condition in a manner reminiscent of the Victorian-era pseudoscientific sexism and racism that persisted in opposition to 19th century minority-rights movements. One argument, famously posed by Simone DeBeauvoir and periodically reinvented to support women’s equality, claims that the industrial revolution rendered superfluous the physical strength that long justified masculine dominance. Areas like sports and combat are reminders of male physical advantage, and lead to questions as to why there should not be a corresponding mental advantage.
In "Why Chess May Be An Ideal Laboratory For Investigating Gender Gaps in Science".