I had hoped I’d never have to write this article. I heard the whispers, read a few things online, and thought well, that all seems a little subjective.
I was in a safe space with this whole men-can’t-handle-intelligent-women thing.
I figured it was just a little Internet sensation and would quiet down and then I could go back to just ignoring it.
Then I found out about this study conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo, California Lutheran University, and the University of Texas which basically concludes that while men say they want to date an intelligent woman, they actually don’t. At all. Really. During this process men were asked if they would be comfortable dating someone smarter than them. Eighty-six percent of them said they were. When the intelligence test scores between the men and the women were spoken aloud, most men reported that they were not attracted to the women with intelligence scores higher than their own. So much for that eighty-six percent.
Then I saw this study outlined in Psychology Today, which basically said that the same results came from similar tests. Even when men had to simply imagine a woman who had outperformed him on the intelligence test, they said that made her less attractive.
The researchers for the first study concluded that the men involved had “feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them.” Ouch.
Kind of a nasty blow to the male ego.
But seriously, what’s wrong with you guys? I realize this doesn’t affect all men and that there are a good deal of great guys out there happy to date intelligent women, even women who are more intelligent than themselves. After seeing these studies, though, I feel like the proportion of guys who will date smart women has shrunk considerably.
At least one part of my frustration (as well as any other intelligent, capable, sexy single woman) is that these guys are liars. I mean, they said they desired an intelligent woman and then when it actually was set in front of them and the women presented and their intelligence scores read, most of the men said they weren’t attracted to the ones whose scores were higher than their own.
To me, this is ridiculous. (This is probably also why I date nerds, because they’re usually quantifiably smarter than me, and generally in an area I have nothing to do with. I don’t date writers.)
I can’t imagine a more perfect representation of the fragility of the male ego.
But alas, my work here is done. Feel free to draw your own conclusions. Now that I’m single again, I’ll regard the dating world with wide-eyed skepticism.