Remember the little creepy woman that looked like a young girl from that movie the Orphan? Turns out there is a woman that strikes even more fear into the hearts of men... A smart woman.
You heard that correctly, a science study has confirmed what many women have suspected all along: Most men are petrified of intelligent women. But that's not all, science has also exposed that when a woman is able to do something better than a man, his feelings of masculinity are degraded.
The study in question is called “(Psychological) Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”, and was carried out by researchers Lora E. Park from the University of Buffalo, Ariana F. Young from the California Lutheran University, and Paul W. Eastwick from the University of Texas in Austin.
In a survey that preceded the actual study, 86 percent of the participating males said that they would feel comfortable dating a women smarter than themselves. In a series of experiments that followed, the researchers tested these claims.
In the first study, 105 male participants from University read a fictional scenario about a female who did better than they did on a test. The participants were then asked to rate how desirable the woman were and whether or not they would like to potentially meet them.
In the second study, the researchers used 151 male undergraduates, and had them take an "intelligence test". Then they asked them if they were intrigued by the woman, and would they like to meet them? Some of them were told the woman scored higher than them and some told they scored lower.
Both of these studies found that men are interested in meeting a fictional female character, but it turns out when it came to the real thing, this was no longer the case.
In the next two studies, the male participants came in physical contact with a woman who was part of the study who they were told either had done better or worse on an I.Q. test than they had. After meeting with the woman, the participants took the test while seated next to their female counter part. The scores were then read aloud and the male participants were instructed to move their seats across from the woman.
The men who were measured against a woman that scored higher on their intelligence test felt the need to physically distance themselves from them more so than those who did not. Then, they also rated the woman as less attractive than the men who were told they did better.
The sixth study (six in total) found that men were less interested in dating, or interacting, with women who they thought were smarter than themselves. Interestingly, in the fifth study, when the women was theoretically further away (in the next room), the men showed more interest in meeting them.
The findings were summarized as follows;
“[The] six studies revealed that when evaluating psychologically distant targets, men showed greater attraction toward women who displayed more (vs. less) intelligence than themselves. In contrast, when targets were psychologically near, men showed less attraction toward women who outsmarted them.”
This is pretty sad to say the least, but like all scientific studies it raises more questions for more detailed tests;
What were the "intelligence tests" about? If the subject matter is uninteresting then of course the male participants would view the women as being representative of these uninteresting subjects and be turned off. We are talking about undergraduates. Maybe, it would be a better idea to use undergraduates her consider themselves to be intellects?
How would the male participants fair in similar studies against other men?
The findings, however, are not that surprising and shed light on deeper issues that exist in our society.
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Image Credit and Story Source: The Minds Journal