Blonde people are no less intelligent than those with other hair colours, study says

The study actually found that blondes tended to be slightly more intelligent than other people

Doug Bolton
Tuesday 22 March 2016 14:17
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The bleach-blonde Romanian football team lines up before their match against Tunisia during the 1998 World Cup
The bleach-blonde Romanian football team lines up before their match against Tunisia during the 1998 World Cup

The stereotype of blonde people being less intelligent than others is simply wrong, according to a new scientific study.

By analysing the IQ scores of almost 11,000 naturally blonde women, a team of researchers from Ohio State University found their average scores were within three points of people with red, black or brown hair.

In fact, the average IQ of blondes was found to slightly higher than those with other hair colours, but not enough to be statistically significant.

While the stereotype is the foundation of a lot of jokes, it can actually have real-world implications for blonde people.

Jay Zagorsky, a staff member at the university's Centre for Human Resource Research and author of the study, said: "Research shows that stereotypes often have an impact on hiring, promotions and other social experiences."

"This study provides compelling evidence that there shouldn't be any discrimination against blondes based on their intelligence," he said.

The data used in the study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a 1979 survey of Americans between the ages of 14 and 21. A year later, participants from that study took part in a separate survey, which included a question about natural hair colour. By matching up the results, Zagorsky was able to find the IQ scores of people with different hair colours.

Discounting black and hispanic people from the analysis, to eliminate any bias in the results caused by ethnic differences, Zagorksy found that blonde-haired white women had an average IQ of 103.2.

That's higher than the average of 102.7 for brunettes, 101.2 for people with red hair, and 100.5 for those with black hair.

Blonde women were also slightly more likely to be in the highest IQ category, and slightly less likely to be in the lowest. The case was the same for blonde men, whose IQs were found to be roughly equal to men with other hair colours.

Zagorsky said: "I don't think you can say with certainty that blondes are smarter than others, but you can definitely say they are not any dumber."

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