So men only like intelligent women in theory, apparently

A new study has revealed that for men, there's a big difference between theory and practise

When you think of your perfect partner, what qualities spring to mind? Funny perhaps? Or caring? Intelligent?

Well if it’s the latter then it turns out you and the male sex have something in common – although whether you actually practice what you preach is apparently a completely different matter.

Yes, turns out the male ego is a delicate creature and doesn’t like to be threatened by those pesky, intelligent women out there – at least, according to science.

New research from the University of Buffalo, California, found that the majority of men are attracted to the thought intelligent women. However, when it comes to actually dating them? Those same men baulk at the idea.

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To find these results, the research team first presented 105 men with a hypothetical scenario in which a woman either outperformed or under-performed them in a mathematics or English test. The men were then instructed to imagine this woman as a romantic partner.

The majority of the men ranked the woman that bested them as the preferable partner, demonstrating that intelligent women on the whole were more attractive: ‘The men formed favourable impressions and showed greater interest in women who displayed more (versus less) intelligence than themselves.

However, the men were then presented with an intelligence test and informed they were about the meet a woman who had performed better than them. According to the study, the men ‘distanced themselves more from her, tended to rate her as less attractive, and showed less desire to exchange contact information or plan a date with her.’

The reason? That fragile male ego just can’t handle the thought of being outshone. Or to put it in researchers words: ‘Feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them in the live interaction context.’

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We know what you’re going to say – only the teeniest tiniest percentage of the population was tested to get these results. And we’d agree – as would the research team, who confirmed further studies would be needed to confirm this.

The only issue is that their research already echoes several previous studies on the subject which draw similar conclusions, like the 2013 report which showed that men experienced lower self-esteem when confronted with the success of their wives or girlfriends.

Does anyone else feel a #CantHandleThis hashtag coming on?

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