Study confirms men are turned off by a clever woman - unless she is beautiful

Volunteers rated more than 4,000 speed dates based on intelligence and attractiveness 

Rebecca Flood
Saturday 06 August 2016 11:11 BST

Men are not attracted to intelligent women unless they are good looking, a study has found.

New research has confirmed the commonly held notion that the smarter a woman is, the less likely it is a man will fancy her.

Men are actively turned-off by cleverness, and the only exception to this is if the woman is highly attractive, a study by the Warsaw School of Economics found.

Scientists studied 4,000 speed dates where 560 people, all from New York’s Columbia University, were given four minutes to get to know their date.

Afterwards the volunteers were asked to rate each other based on intelligence and attractiveness.

After analysing the results, researchers found that women were impressed by men who were either good-looking or intelligent.

But they discovered men placed more emphasis on physical appearance.

A woman of good intelligence helped distinguish her from her counterparts, but the cleverer a woman was they found she had to be equally beautiful to be worth pursuing.

There was a clear line where her intellect went from being a positive factor to a negative one.

Relationships expert Pauline Brown told the New Zealand Herald: “This study fits in with what I'm observing and hearing: clever women - graduates - who feel they have to dumb themselves down and hide their brains to be attractive to men.”

The study, in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that women do not exclude men who are deemed to be less good looking.

It said: “Even those men who are not perceived by women as physically attractive may receive positive speed-dating decisions, if only those men seem intelligent.

“Males demonstrate a clearly different approach to mate selection.

"In men's perception, for relatively high values of women's perceived intelligence, this personal trait turns out to be an economic bad.”

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