When it comes to dating, there are just way too many rules on the table. When to text back. Should you call or text? Who picks up the cheque? And does it really matter if one person is a little bit smarter than the other?
While we don’t pretend to even know how to begin answering most of those questions, researchers at the University of Buffalo, California Lutheran University and University of Texas, Austin decided to tackle that last one recently, wondering if dudes were actually intimidated by women who were perceived smarter than them.
Turns out, the answer is yes. Well, sort of.
You see, researchers split the study into two groups. The first group of 105 men were given a situation in which women either did better or worse than they did in a Math and English course. Then the guys were asked to imagine what those women would be like as a romantic partner. The result? Most men decided the women who did better than they did would make more desirable partners. Chalk up one for smart women everywhere!
Here’s the caveat though.
In the second round of testing, these same men were asked if they would actually date the women in real life. That’s when the second-guessing became completely apparent, and the guys showed less desire in actually exchanging contact info or taking her out on a date. They even tended to rate her as less attractive. Maybe we should be putting down that chalk right about now.
It’s not all bad news for women who outsmart their male counterparts, however. The study, which will be published next month, requires more testing before any conclusive statements can be made. After all, when it comes to masculinity and the feelings surrounding it, we wouldn’t want to pretend like we know what’s going on either!
But, we’d like to leave you with one thought, that pretty much sums up the counterargument in a nutshell: George and Amal Clooney.
*Drops the mic.