Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Aren't Men Attracted to Smart Women?

Research shows that men would prefer not to date women who are smarter than they are. It should not really come as news, but apparently it does.

And yet, wonder of wonders, if you run a survey where you ask men whether they would like to date smart women they say that they would. Men tell survey takers one thing, but when the time comes to go out with a smart women, they demur. Psychologists have set about to explain this strange result.

Presumably, women willingly hold themselves back academically and professionally because they believe that high achievement will shrink their dating prospects. To be fair, one does not, for now, marry any more than one person, so an embarrassment of choices is not a necessity. Moreover, as other researchers have shown, the more options you have the more difficult it is to choose one.

Perhaps it is true that women hold themselves back, but it is also true that women far outnumber men in colleges and universities. Women get most college degrees and consistently outperform men in most academic studies. The exception seems to be in STEM courses.

I would also note that the questioners asked about dating, about having a relationship, not about hooking up or other more sordid activities.

Before attributing it to comparative IQs, we must mention that most men have had some experience with very smart women and, for all I know, may have found them to be not so congenial or not so attractive. If the smart girl in the class always knows the right answer, then you are not likely to be saying to yourself: I would love to date her.

Without knowing anything else about the way brilliant women behave around men, it is difficult to theorize about these results.

We do not know whether smart women are more likely to be smart asses, whether they are more likely to use their smarts to put their partners down, whether they are wise girls or whether they are highly competitive toward men. All of these qualities might cause a woman to excel academically. But they might make her insufferable over dinner.

Are smart women more likely to be feminist ideologues? If men believe that that is the case, then surely they do well to avoid their company. Why develop a relationship with a woman who is going to call you sexist for using a correct pronoun.

The least we can say, with only a minimal confidence, is that when men are asked abstract questions about dating smart women they know what they are expected to say, so they say it. Don’t ever say that men do not know how to play the game. And yet, when it comes time to meet a woman who is smart, they prefer not to subject themselves to an experience that might easily become abusive.

As one might expect, researchers have found other reasons for this male preference. They are very quick to disparage, demean and degrade the men who reject the charms, such as they are, of very smart women. They see it all as the men’s problems, refusing to accept that men might know something that they do not know, something about what they do or do not find attractive in a female of the same species.

I would even say that the female researchers who interpret these results must see themselves represent smart, brainy women. If they typify the cohort they show us that they do not respect men. There’s nothing very attractive about a woman who does not respect you. Perhaps their attitude gives the game away.

Market Watch has the story:

Men, do smart women threaten your masculinity? A new study suggests they might — and that you might not want to date them because of it.

While men say they like the idea of dating a woman who’s smarter than they are, when it comes time to meet her, they’re less keen on the brainy lady, a study that will be published in the November journal “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” reveals.

In the first part of the study, researchers had 105 male participants read a hypothetical scenario about a woman who, among other traits, had either outperformed the male subject or underperformed him in a math or English course; the men were then asked to imagine how desirable that person might be as a romantic partner.

The researchers assume that these men feel that their masculinity is being threatened. This implies that these men are insecure and that, were they more secure in their manliness they would not feel threatened. And when, by the way, did women become authorities on what does and does not constitute manliness? Worse yet, what makes you imagine that feminists are authoritative voices on what constitutes masculine behavior?

This is a cheap trick. It has been applied to many different cases over the years. To wit, every time a feminist decides that a man should get in touch with his feminine side, she will attack his masculinity: you refuse to change diapers because it threatens your feeble excuse for masculinity. A real man would rush home from the game to change the diapers and give the baby his bottle.

Obviously, this is absurd. It's witchcraft. Any man who falls for it deserves the contempt that he will receive. Other research has already pointed out that women disrespect men who too many household chores and find them less attractive.

The story continues:

Faced with actually meeting a female who was smarter than they were, 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 study revealed.

(Similarly, a study published in the “Quarterly Journal of Economics,” which looked at people who were speed dating, found that “men do not value women’s intelligence or ambition when it exceeds their own,” though in this case it was ambition that significantly turned them off from a woman.)

Thank God for the “Quarterly Journal of Economics.” It points out that men are turned off from women who are very ambitious. Consider this point. A woman who is more ambitious is probably less interested in a relationship. She might want to hook up, but she will not be into dating. Nor will she be very available for dating. And she is likely to be competitive. If she is more successful, she will be sure to let him know it.

Perhaps very smart and driven women sacrifice something of their feminine allure to develop their masculine side. Perhaps they will, whether intentionally or unintentionally, make their men feel small.

Tell me what is appealing about that?

The Quarterly Journal, having taken a step forward, takes two steps back. It suggests that men are afraid of being rejected by high quality women. Note that these exceptionally intelligent researchers—of indeterminate gender—assume that smarter women are higher quality women. From whose perspective, I would ask. How many men do you know who consider that great intelligence makes a woman high quality, especially if it comes with the absence of feminine traits that men, but not researchers value.

Again, psychologists place the blame squarely on the shoulders of men, as though a man should be able to feel attracted to a woman for her IQ alone. One feels that these researchers are laboring under their own illusions about what men find attractive in women.

Another female researcher, Elizabeth Lombardo demeans men in her own way. She says that when a man faces a smart woman he should focus on appreciating her strength. One does not know anything about Lombardo, but one does know, as a general rule, and it is not a great secret that men are not attracted to strength in women. Focusing on her strength is a turn off.

And then Lombardo adds a cliché, because if she is not showing her facility at psychobabble we might think that she is smart herself. She adds that when a man rejects a woman because she is too smart he has low self-esteem.

She adds:

Take steps to boost your self-worth by focusing on your own values, strengths and contributions to others.

Here’s a hint for Lombardo. A man who is with a woman who is smarter than he is and who makes him feel less intelligent is not going to be able to develop his own strengths. No man can boost his strengths when his woman puts him down and makes him feel small.

When the women interpreters keep finding fault with men they are showing us that they do not understand men. Worse yet, they do not respect men. They are criticizing men for not living the roles that have been set out for them in feminist mythology.

Trust me… a man is not going to feel more like a man by doing what a woman tells him to do, especially after that woman has denounced him as an insecure weakling. Under those circumstances, the only way he will be able to feel manly is by defying her expectations and replacing her with a woman who appreciates him.


Ares Olympus said...

This sort of generalized discussion seems ripe for nonsense, whatever twist you make of it.

We might consider there are different forms of intelligence, and men and women have different general aptitudes, like women excelling more in language skills, or social intelligence, and men excelling more in spatial thinking or technical thinking.

So a spatially capable man would prefer to keep driving than stop and ask directions, possibly because he's too proud to ask, or possibly because verbal instructions with more than 3 turns confuse him, unless the helper can draw a map.

But if his wife is with him, and her verbal skills are strong, he can let her do the talking, and be happy he picked a smart wife.

So ideally both a man and a woman should feel there's something they are smarter in than their spouse, or its not going to be a very happy partnership. And perhaps also, there are times when its better for a man to "play dumb" and times when its better for a woman to "play dumb", i.e. where ever the other spouse feels more capable, and is willing to do the greater share of the work there.

Sam L. said...

Ares, that's a great comment.

KCFleming said...

Modern women, especially the smart and driven ones, have made it clear that they they don't need men, and men have learned that lesson well.
What would be the point of dating such a person?

Who says there are in fact any of these creatures seeking to actually date men?
I want proof they exist. I smell a unicorn.

Instead, I suspect this is just another example of the scientific McGuffin, a plot device off which the desired story and motivation can be revealed.
Here, we have yet another way in which "Men are bad, women are wonderful."
Gee, what a surprise.

Bizzy Brain said...

My daughter is attractive, personable, and a member of Mensa. She never had a problem attracting and keeping men. She simply knows how to emotionally relate and never flaunted her brains. She is married to an engineer and has two very smart daughters.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

There's a healthy sense of selfhood, and then there's selfhood as a rationale for being an island. If you have to be better than your spouse at everything, you don't have a spouse. You have a competitor. Sounds like a crummy life to me.

Of course my wife wants to be better than me at many things. It's part of how she expresses her contribution. Se wants to grow, which is a sign of self respect and love for others. That's why I admire her. That's how we get division of labor and are able to run an economically efficient household. You know, one of those "traditional" fuddy-duddy households where we don't spend more than we have so we can have more/better/faster stuff.

Females are better than males at a great many things, and males better than females at just as many. The problem today is the extraordinary disrespect the sexes express in profanely overt ways. Everyone's a victim. It's really depressing. I feel like this is the 1970s all over again.

Thinking you have a monopoly on all it means to be human is a denial of your own humanity, which is a pall on actually being human. Real men kill to eat. Small men kill for fun.

If you think you've got it all figured out, think again. Something in life is about to surprise you. If you think you can berate a man or diminish a woman and get away with it over time, the joke's on you. Your comeuppance lies in waiting.

Social "science" is the bane of modern humanity. I am done with "experts." I personally like Camille Paglia's take on life without men. To paraphrase, she said "If there were no men, there would be no war. And we women would be huddled under grass huts."

It would seem life is full of tradeoffs. The greatest lie sold to women in the last 50 years: "You can have it all, baby!" Look at how much misery lies in the wake of that mindless pursuit. Men are checked out, women are pissed off, and both are exhausted.

n.n said...

I avoid conceited women, and people generally, irrespective of their intelligence. Humility, especially exhibited by people with greater skill, knowledge, and station, is an attractive quality.