Ready to hear some exasperating Wednesday morning news? A new study has shown that although men are more attracted to intelligent women, when it comes down to it, they’re intimidated by the thought of dating them.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo, California Lutheran University and University of Texas, Austin, carried out several studies into what men find desirable in women.
They enlisted 105 men and read them out a hypothetical scenario in which a woman either outperformed or underperformed them in a maths or English course, and then asked the men to imagine this woman as a potential partner.
The men generally ranked the woman who outperformed them as a preferable partner, with the study saying: ‘men formed favourable impressions and showed greater interest in women who displayed more (versus less) intelligence than themselves.’
So far, so good – but then, in the second part of the study, the men were given an ostensible intelligence test, and told that they were going to meet a woman who had either done better or worse than them on the test.
Then true feelings came out: the men who were told they were going to meet a more intelligent woman ‘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’.