I was going through my email today and stumbled upon an article from my daily list of Bloglovin’ blog recommendations. Men Are Intimidated by Women With This Trait, Study Suggests is about a study that compares female and male preferences for characteristics they look for in a potential mate. This blog also references a Psychology Today post that arrives at the same conclusion that men are not attracted to intelligent women. This study from the Warsaw School of Economics uses data from the speed dating experiment which was run at the Columbia University, New York.
Both the articles concluded that “Men are intimidated by clever or intelligent women, and generally prioritize beauty over brains”. I’ve read similar articles over the last couple of years so was going to accept this finding and move on. Instead, I clicked on the link to read the study. Lo and behold – completely contrary to the blog post conclusion, according to this study men are MORE likely to be attracted to a women who they perceive to be more ambitious than them.
This blog post states that the study’s “…findings suggest that men desire a smart or clever woman—up to a certain point. Although the sky is the limit for women in terms of valuing intelligence in men…”. The PT post also says that “there is a clear point at which men stop valuing a woman’s increasing intelligence.” This again, is not the case in the study — sure, men are more likely to date women who they perceive to be attractive but so are women! According to the study, both men AND women “give greater weight to perceived physical attractiveness than intelligence in their mating choices”.
The study ran a logit model and found that if the male is rated low on attractiveness and intelligence, the chances of him being chosen as a mate falls drastically. The same holds true for males rating females. However, the coefficients in the logit model were higher in the male’s ratings of the women than the women’s ratings for male. This would ordinarily mean that men are more “picky” than women and less likely to choose a women who is perceived to be less intelligent and less physically attractive. However, 95% percent of the observations recorded by men rated rated women’s perceived intelligence higher than or equal to 5 or physical attractiveness higher than or equal to 3. The images below taken from the study display the Male’s and Female’s physical attractiveness vs intelligence ratings. Which means, that although the coefficient in the male’s model is higher, most of the women just won’t fall under the rejection pool.
Posts like these really hurt feminism because they incorrectly shoot down men to prop up women. Feminism strives for equality. Putting men down to make women look better is NOT feminism.
If you come across an article like this in the future, I would suggest reading the corresponding study.