Schizophrenic patients have cognitive impairments, but gender differences in these cognitive deficits have had limited study. This study assessed cognitive functioning in 471 subjects including 122 male and 78 female schizophrenic patients and 141 male and 130 female healthy controls. We found that immediate memory, language, delayed memory and total RBANS scores were significantly decreased in schizophrenia compared with healthy controls for both genders. Male patients had significant lower immediate memory, delayed memory and total RBANS scores than female patients, and healthy controls showed a similar gender difference. The RBANS showed modest correlations with PANSS scores, duration of illness and antipsychotic dose (chlorpromazine equivalents). Almost all RBANS scores in the schizophrenics and healthy controls showed significant positive correlations with education. Thus, patients of both sexes with schizophrenia experienced more deteriorated performance than healthy controls on cognitive domains of immediate memory, language and delayed memory. Furthermore, male schizophrenic patients had more serious cognitive deficits than female patients in immediate and delayed memory, but not in language, visuospatial and attention indices.