In this story on NPR's Science Friday broadcast yesterday, Ira Flatow and his guests talk about claims regarding gender differences in cognitive abilities. This is a panel held in conjunction with the American Psychological Association's Science Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, in a forum with DC high school students.
Nora Newcombe, a professor of psychology, says that while there is evidence of differences, there's no evidence of one sex being smarter than the other (overall). In general, women are better at writing, at memory tasks, some fine motor tasks, and speech. Men tend to be better at spatial imagery,. In general, women tend to do better with "book learning" type tasks, and men do better with "fluid tasks," meaning extracurricular learning and novel problem-solving.