Researchers at Elon University have discovered that women find intelligence sexy. As the New Scientist reports:
Rather than ask women to rate qualities they seek in men, as other studies had done, Prokosch's team asked 15 college men to perform a series of tasks on camera.
The volunteers read news reports, explained why they would be a good date, and what would be the ramifications of the discovery of life on Mars. They also threw and caught a Frisbee to parade their physical appeal. Each potential suitor also took a quantitative test of verbal intelligence.
More than 200 women watched a series of these videos before rating each man's intelligence, attractiveness, creativity and appeal for a short-term or long-term relationship…
Women proved to be decent judges of intelligence, with their scores generally matching each man's intelligence test results.
As for picking a bed-mate, the men's actual smartness proved a reliable indicator of their appeal for both brief hook-ups and serious relationships – which came as something of a surprise. Other studies have suggested that, for women anticipating short-term relationships, a man's braininess isn't foremost in their minds.
The disparate results may be due to women's lack of awareness that intelligence also affects the attractiveness of candidates for quick flings – how intelligent women perceived a man to be influenced his desirability as a long-term mate much more than his appeal for a one-night stand.
But the results are too good to be true. High SAT scores may be desirable, but they are not enough. Women want it all. As the article explains:
Looks were still a much more powerful predictor of sex appeal than brains. "Women are still going for the hunk," [Elon University evolutionary biologist Mark] Prokosch says. "If you had an option to pick from five different people, you would pick the most attractive one."
So in a perfect world, women want a Nobel prize winner with movie-star looks.
So guys, if you want the gals, it doesn't hurt to drop by the gym on the way back from the computer lab.
Whole New Scientist article here.