Why Men Prefer Intelligent Women (or Do They?)

Time and again when I meet someone new and when I go on dates, men seem to be so amazed and impressed that they can have an intelligent conversation with me.  Common things they say are “you know about politics?”, “you actually know about history” and “you are interested in current affairs?”.  I always thought that they were just pulling my leg, you know, trying to get on my good side.  But, when I asked around some of my readers, friends and family they all said the same thing.  They rarely can find a girl who cares about anything but celebrities and fashion.  Many women they meet can’t even tell them the basics about what’s going on in the world.  I still wasn’t convinced, until, I saw something in the news.

Women, Politics and Current Affairs

men prefer intelligent womenApparently researchers out of the UK surveyed men and women’s knowledge of domestic and international news as well as current affairs in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, the UK and the US.  A comparative study was done and it was found that women living in the world’s most advanced democracies and under the most progressive gender equality regimes still know less about politics and current affairs than men.  Interesting.  Well, what’s the reason?  The information is certainly available very easily.  There are so many ways to access media from all over the world in every language possible.  Why, then do people avoid it?  The study cited the use of males in the media as main sources and gender inequality in specializations related to these topics.  Women sources are preferred for what they call “soft news topics” such as family, lifestyle and culture.  OK, makes sense, but, what doesn’t make sense is that this information is easily accessible, no one is stopping them, so why don’t they just access it?  Easy.  They don’t really see it as essential in their own specific worlds.  It’s not important or affecting them so they don’t deem it essential.

It shouldn’t be a blanket statement, however, because I know MANY women, including myself, who are well versed in politics and current affairs, but, I do work for the Canadian Government, so it’s part of my job to know.  Besides,  a lot of men don’t know about politics and current affairs either.  They prefer speaking about sports and drinking.  So, no blanket statements.  Perhaps these women who do know about these things aren’t the ones who are out there dating? I don’t know really, all I know is what I hear from men, and, men say that they find it refreshing when they can have a dynamic, intelligent, conversation with a woman.  So, women, if you’re reading this, read a newspaper, do some research into random facts.  Watch a documentary or two.  Not to attract men, but, to learn about the world you live in and your place in it.  Celebrity news and fashion are fun but don’t add substance to your life.

Do Men Prefer Intelligent Women?

I don’t know, do they? I mean, do they REALLY? Typically, I find it’s about looks first, intelligence second.  Just because a guy is impressed with my mind doesn’t mean he’s going to automatically fall for me.  I’ve been rejected by guys who find me intellectually stimulating, and, “refreshing” but, because I wasn’t a size zero trophy woman I was bypassed.  Although I’m not unattractive, I wasn’t their type of attractive.  Ya well, I can understand that.  I’ve done the same.  But, really? Why?  When faced with someone who you love to talk to and you are even excited to meet and spend time with you reject them because you’re not attracted to them?  Kind of shallow, isn’t it? I was once rejected by someone who had already seen me and found me very attractive and who was impressed by my intelligence because he decided that although I was smart, sexy and entertaining, I wasn’t beautiful or attractive ENOUGH.   Umm, OK.  Then again, he was a highly successful 50 year old Peter Pan, so perhaps that doesn’t count LOL.  Either way, looks do matter, just as much, if not more, than intelligence. Regardless of what anyone will tell you.  It’s just a fact of life.  Would you date someone you weren’t attracted to? I didn’t think so.  Sorry folks (don’t shoot the messenger).

Well, what I’ve concluded is (and correct me if I’m wrong) the looks reel them in and the brains are what keep them.  It’s the combination of both that is the key.  And, always remember that “if you look too closely at the form, you miss the essence” (Rumi).  So, do you prefer the icing or the cake or both together? Plain. Simple.

What do you think? Guys – do you prefer intelligent women? Honestly? Women have you been rejected because you had more brains than beauty?  I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

45 comments

  1. Yes, I was called “obese”, “not sexually attractive” and “weak” by a 19-year-old, Darwin-idolizing gym freak. I’m 21 and a size 14, but I’m always fixed up, dressed nice, and have on heels, so I would be the modern definition of “thick”, but still with an hourglass shape. At first, he said he had never had such in-depth, intellectual conversations with women like he had with me – which I hear from most men – and was really attracted to my intellectuality. After our first date, THE NEXT DAY, he decides to tell me he wasn’t attracted to me.

    It was shocking because, aside from his semi-ripped physique, he was lacking in the face department, which is what he thought I excelled in because of my “cute face”. It was also the first time a guy had called me cute in a long time like I was a high schooler. Needless to say, it didn’t end well and brought back feelings of being bullied in school, despite the fact that I’m kind of the “ugly duckling” Valedictorian that turned into a successful, beautiful “swan”.

    Since high school, I’ve had to turn down lots of guys I would’ve never dreamt to have found me attractive for reasons other than attractiveness – the popular guys in high school, the star football players, etc. – and I can honestly and truthfully say this: when a guy that is not way above your league thinks he is better than you, chances are that he really isn’t but he’s telling himself that to elevate his self-esteem, thus you should steer clear because he has some unresolved mental issues with himself.

    If you really think about, that last sentence above is really true. In the case of the 19-year-old – as I am going to Master in Psychology – he has, in my humble opinion, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or an inferiority with himself that he projects onto his 12%-body-fat-obsessed self and others.

    Thank you for your article. It really is true. Men prefer looks to intelligence and, in my opinion, are intimidated when the two are put together. Only a select few aren’t and those are either the real men, or the men to steer clear of. We just have to figure out which one. 😉

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    • Thanks for your comment Alexa, and thank you for sharing your own experience. It is very frustrating when you get bypassed because you don’t fit into someone’s ideals. The important thing is to know what you have to offer the right person who actually deserves all of you brains AND beauty!

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    • I am sorry about what you had to go through, you are better off without him and better off focusing on your studies and career which would be much more rewarding in the future.

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  2. I think it’s hard to quantify exactly what all men want. They need to be attracted, and they need to be intrigued. They also need to be stimulated on some cerebral level. That could mean smart in that she knows how to pick the best line on the climbing wall, or smart that she knows how to use gluten free flour. Smart is not just limited politics and current affairs!

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    • Thanks for your comment Rory. You are right, intelligence is relative. Smart to one is not necessarily smart for someone else. It really depends on what someone is looking for. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!

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  3. I think men are always going to pay attention to looks first and would date a dumb and shallow woman that was hot before an intelligent woman that was not, in most cases. As for politics, well, I used to pay attention to them. I was married for 13 years to a man who was obsessed with two topics, religion and politics, lol. So that’s all I ever heard about and it got talked to death. Now, I tend to avoid discussing either and stay out of political debates. Would that make me appear unintelligent? Perhaps, but my areas of interest lie elsewhere. “Intelligence” is relative.

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    • Thanks for your comment! Beauty before brains huh? I agree … but the whole package is the best package. Not everyone cares about every topic, but intelligence and knowledge about the world and current affairs is important.

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  4. I met my boyfriend via OKC almost two years ago. After our first date, he emailed me tell me that he hadn’t enjoyed such an intelligent conversation (with someone outside his family) in a long time. This led to a second date and now a very happy relationship.

    That said, if we hadn’t both been physically attracted to each other, we probably wouldn’t have ended up together. It’s not a bad thing to want to be physically attracted to a significant other. Most people need the physical, emotional, and intellectual attraction for a relationship.

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    • Thank you Belle. Yes you hit the nail on the head … you need to be attracted physically, emotionally and intellectually with someone to have a good connection. That makes for the most successful relationships.

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  5. I find the results regarding women’s intelligence interesting especially considering women have been graduating from college {at least in the US} at a much higher rate than men. I don’t think it’s a matter of intelligence as much as interest. Politics, current affairs, and history are just not as stimulating for some women as fashion, celebs, and reality TV. Just look at the most popular articles in HuffPost Woman! It will shock you!
    It’s not that women are not as intelligent as men, it’s that a lot of women do not share the same interests as most men!

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    • Good points. Perhaps we need to expand our definition of intelligence. I’m sure we’ve all worked wth people that sound like geniuses when showing off meetings but don’t have much to back it up. One may be book smart or up in current events but lack common sense. A quiet introvert may not make the best conversationalist at parties but be a highly intelligent thinker solving the worlds problems in his day job.

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  6. Great post! I too found it interesting that women are still “less informed” than men on more “intellectual” topics. As for what men want-brain or beauty- well, I’m not a man so I can’t say from experience. But as you said, most men need the physical attraction… which (thankfully) can vary (blonde/brunette, curvy/athletic, feminine/edgy, you get the idea)! It’s true that there are some guys who prefer “dumb/hot” women, but if that’s the case… would we even want them anyway? No thanks! Now, for women, I think we tend to rank humor much higher than men do. So when I find men that can not only handle my sense of humor (dark and sarcastic, mostly), I usually hold on to them!

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    • Thanks so much for your comments! I just think that men AND women have different levels of intelligence and preference of intelligence. It’s all about finding the RIGHT fit for you and them. How great it is when it DOES happen!

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  7. I don’t equate political talk with intelligence, and find a lot of people’s comments or statements on politics rather stupid, maybe because I’m a European living in the US – but joking aside:

    – I enjoy meeting smart women;

    – I enjoy the deeper and more meaningful, intellectual conversations I tend to have with women more than I have with men (although I do have some more sensitive guy-friends, by which I mean the hetero & homosexual ones);

    – Women are generally better communicators than men;

    – If we’re talking ‘romantically’ then there has to be a physical connection (goes without saying);

    – ‘Sexy’ can take many forms, it’s not simply all physical – it is also in the mind, and the brain can be incredibly sexy.

    Consequently I feel that intelligence and attractiveness (from a purely physical standpoint) are entirely separate and complex (often very personal) things to discern, much of which might be situational.

    I’d rather have a smarter woman than a dumber woman for company, to use crude vernacular, but then I’m not generally making such judgements in my mind – I hate the ‘shopping listers’ that are out there in ‘dating land’ and checking things off their lists, but that’s a whole other discussion on short-sightedness, personal preferences, information overload & expectations. “Oh the complexity of ‘modern’ living..” ehehe

    I prefer to simply enjoy the whole.. and isn’t that what it’s all about at the end of the day, rather than trying to split hairs and name the unnameable?

    Some things are best left with a little mystique, and ‘chemistry’ of whatever formulation is most certainly one of them in my book.

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    • Thanks very much for your comment! Yes, you’re right. It’s really up to personal preference and there are some people that you just have a physical, emotional and mental connection with while others you don’t. It’s all about finding the right balance.

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  8. Wow, such a great post. For myself I’ve always been attracted to intelligent women and have never been intimidated in meeting one. Sizes, shapes | curves, nationalities and hair colour never really played a major role in deciding whether to keep communicating with you ladies, and of course, I’m speaking for myself. But, of course I’ve also recognized that physical attraction will come first. Body language is, has, and will always be our first form of communication, no matter how you slice it.

    So, please do keep in mind that there’s no need to dumb yourself up for me.

    Until next time… communication is a key that I’ll hang on too!

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  9. Great post! Because I’m attractive, petite and a size 2, I find that men automatically assume I have zero intelligence. I have often had men say to me, “Wow! I can’t believe you know about X!” or, “I never realized how intelligent you are, I never would have guessed” Umm.. gee thanks! There’s more to me than being your eye candy you ass! I think you summed it up perfectly at the end though: Men are very visual creatures by nature, so it’s likely that looks are what get them, but brains are what keep them. Then again, maybe not! lol!

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  10. From my observation, men and women naturally have the same intellectual and emotional disposition, but because the two genders are socialized differently, women are stereotyped as emotionally irrational, and of less intelligence/competence than men. This extends to politics; following society’s logic, then, why should women be involved in it if they are so incompetent? In my opinion, women may tend not to take an interest in politics because the society as a whole does not encourage it.

    Even a women that buys into fashion trends, beauty, and celebrity news extensively can be of intellectual superiority. She could have a higher IQ than her husband, but that doesn’t mean that she will necessarily have have an interest in politics, or whatever an ‘intelligent’ person is thought to have interests in. Intelligence, after all, is the depth at which an individual percieves information and is able to create analogies between related and unrelated concepts.

    Although this article uses stereotypes of intelligence to determine whether or not a woman is ‘intelligent’ (i.e. if she’s involved in politics, etc.), I find the debate over male attration to ‘intelligence’ amusing. I hypothesize that a woman’s prospect of finding a mate is mainly dependant on her attractiveness, and that a man may or may not appreciate intelligence, depeding the individual. Let’s just say that appearance is a deal breaker, and intelligence in a woman: well, you can take it or leave it. In some instances, men are intimidated by intelligent females as they may find them to be emasculating.

    Hopefully, more and more men will look for bright women to live in partnership with.

    It really is a shame that an incredible mind can lose all credibility when the body it’s attached to has a vagina, womb, and set of ovaries down below.

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  11. That’s a really good question.

    Personally it’s one of the main things I look for … but then I’ve had that drilled into my head since I was a kid by my amazing and super intelligent lawyer mum.

    I wonder what most men find attractive. I think I remember reading in a study somewhere that men found women who were more educated/intelligent than them LESS attractive, which I found bizarre. I’m going to see what I can dig up.

    -Shane

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  12. Some men like intelligent women, many don’t. Many men want a quite, dumb woman who is easy to manipulate and dominate. They don’t like anyone who contradicts their opinion.

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  13. I am really worn out with everyone’s unquestioning assumption of what “intelligence” is. I’ve met women who can tell you about the Higgs Bosun but can’t walk from their car to a movie theater because they think the world is a scary place. I’ve also met down and out drunks–literally–living under bridges who have a pretty darn accurate assessment of Obama’s motives and interests.

    Let me meet a hot woman. Let her be smart about her interests and let me be smart about mine. Then we can share.

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  14. I can’t date someone stupid. I can’t date someone I’m not attracted to either. Yes ladies, if you rock an IQ above 120 and you’re hot, I’m interested. If you can jump out of a plane for a good time, or go scuba diving, I’m interested. If you can talk about physics and write a contradicting law to thermodynamics, I’m interested. If you’re dyslexic, creative, obsessive compulsive, and all of the above, and you’re sarcastic, extroverted, with a libido of a rock star, I’m interested. If you have none of the above qualities, you’re average. Thus I’m not interested, unless I’m severely impaired. I’d find you boring. If you think having assault rifles on a trip to a third world country as exciting, instead of terrifying, I’m interested. Looking for a bipolar adrenaline junky, who screws like a rabbit, can perform brain surgery, around 5’0 to 5’4 and under 110lbs, does martial arts, works out, parties sometimes, and can intelligently talk about things that actually matter in the world. I’m interested. This is why I’m single. I’m looking for my best friend with similar interests.

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  15. I will venture to say that unintelligent men don’t usually connect to intelligent women. Intelligent men however, have more insight on the importance of a woman who can understand him (and thus better work with him) so are willing to give an intelligent woman a higher priority.
    Its only sociopathic men who want these stupid submissive women, those women to those men arent really people anyway, they are posessions. There is aewuivalent of this in women too, the type who can manipulate men into being their tool-husbands/boyfriends. These women make themselves beautiful, engineer their man to perceive them as dumb and unthreatening and just use them and not have to work a day. Both these types suck,but with all that rejection going around and self doubt, and failed loves, could you blame them? Dating is for making future arangements.. so..

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  16. It is a bit late for me, but anyway. What I always wanted was a highly intelligent woman who enjoyed (and had no inhibitions about) sex. So I would either end up in endless conversations with women could keep you entertained with intelligent discussions until late into the evening and then send you off to sleep alone, or someone who wanted you in bed, but could not talk about anything but TV soap operas. More of the latter than the former, and nothing that lasted or could have lasted. I eventually married one of the former. She tried hard at first, but eventually her low sex drive won out and we settled for celibate cohabitation. Sexually frustrating but very pleasant otherwise. The two together – I have met on the odd one-night stand (mainly when I was living in Holland! And the one night, no matter how good, was all they ever seemed to want), but they are a rare species.

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  17. Hi. Google brought me here, searching for “Attracted to intelligent women”. I just wondered if I am the only guy out there who is. I myself is far from intelligent, with an IQ score of around 85. However, I find smart women very attractive. The girlfriend I had before was not very intelligent, more like average or a bit under, but she had a beautiful, very attractive look. The girlfirend I got after her, was quite the opposite. She doesn’t have this very attractive look, her age is above 50 too, but she’s one of the brightest women I ever met. And I find her intelligence much more attractive than the former girlfriend’s face and body. This relationship is over now, and I’m single. But I would any time prefer an intelligent woman over a pretty one.

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    • Yes, you are probably the only man who likes intelligent women!

      I used to have an interest in politics, world affairs, belief systems and philosophy but no longer, it was the cause of many arguments with my ex who did not like me having an opinion or contradicting him in any way. I found it very draining. You probably shouldn’t have any problem finding an intelligent, educated woman, most men are threatened by them because they want someone docile, submissive and gullible so they can manipulate and exploit them.

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      • I’m sorry you felt that way. You should really pursue your interests no matter what a man says. If he respects you he gets respect back whether or not you agree about everything or who wins/lose a discussion. Some men are just so sore losers about losing a discussion. Personally I would just find it challenging and inspiring when my woman has the intellectual edge, whether it’s a conversation, discussion or in skill games, or for just figure out a solution for some problem. On the other hand I would find the docile, submissive, gullible woman just boring. An intelligent, challenging woman is just awesome.

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        • Ketil,
          You are right. That’s what I do. I pursue my passion whatever men or other people say. Because of my intellect and intelligence, I know its very hard for them to absorb me.
          Thanks,
          Farida

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          • Farida, I’m sure you are awesome! If I met and dated a woman with a very high intellect and intelligence, I would feel honored, and admire her. And I would give her the best intellectual challenge I can come up with, in a positive way. And llsten to her, learn from her, and never ever be a sore loser about being outplayed intellectually.

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      • While surfing just happened to find this page. Interesting. The same question I was asking myself for last twelve years. What I want to see in my partner. Is it pretty attractive look and good figure or intelligence. First quality of course gives pleasure for initial days but then brood grips soon. And that’s the reason why today I am single and looking for third partner. I felt being intelligent,how important for a woman. How they talk, their body language, how they carry themselves and how passionate they are. Sex is not important. If your brain accepts then pleasure is always there. Nothing less then from a so called beautiful attractive partner.
        Her intelligence not arrogance, makes her most beautiful and it’s my strong belief will last longer….

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      • With all due respect why do people do this? Have one or two bad experiences and start believing “all men/women” are like that? My ex too was threatened by my curiousness, ability to hold a conversation and income? But he doesn’t represent all men. Far more often I’ve met men who do value intelligence. but note if you act superior about it, that does turn people off , male and female.

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        • You are so true in everything you say! Yes, I know tehse abilities can make someone feel like a threat, but as I think about it, I see it as a blessing, as something interesting. Something to learn from. But like you say, be intelligent, have awesome abilities, but don’t be arrogant.

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  18. I have to say I quite enjoyed reading this thread.

    To start off, believing that all men dislike intelligent women is quite naive. And if you would consider yourself intelligent and believe that statement then you haven’t thought it through. I my self am a young gent ’24’ and am in the prime of my productive period.

    In saying this, I have turned down quite a few attractive girls because I have not found them intriguing. Many girls I have encountered put them selves forward in a very non reserved way ‘nice way to put it’ and I find this somewhat distasteful.
    Many girls/women say men just treat them as a piece of meat, however I find many girls do portrait themselves this way. Maybe these are just the in-secure ones.

    Many people comment on intelligence among men and women and refer it to politics and world events or being a book worm. I myself get told I’m smart or mature although I never completed secondary school, was not mature enough at the time. My own philosophy on intelligence is that, intelligence and being smart are different. I put intelligence down as knowledge and smart as common sense.

    I am a sapiosexual myself and have a scanner type personality. I think there is nothing more beautiful then an independent intelligent smart woman. I have met many woman with this description, however there the usual case of much older, married etc.

    I hope to find a woman such as this of my own soon and NO woman should be deterred from being smart, because there are many males out there that find these ‘Qualities’ attractive

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  19. I say like what you like, go after who intrigues you and forget what evryone else thinks. It amazes me how many people pursue relationships with people they’ve judged based on others criteria about looks, intelligence and money etc and then wonder why they aren’t happy and fulfilled.

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  20. Few people like a pretentious prig, and bookish women who lack personality and wit or are try hards in the brains department can be boring. Smart women tend to intimidate some men. But it is the sharp with that attracts people. Most people like a good sense of humour and dull pretty people who lack this edge or beautiful women who never needed to try hard to attract or amuse people seem to lack this edge. Most of us like a smart person who is not afraid to act like a buffoon over a serious intellectual snob. The sharper the mind the quicker the wit, and so it is different to intellect as such. A good sense of humour tends to put other people at ease, whereas intellectual superiority and constant seriousness lacks the playful edge to maintain interest. Men and women who have a keen eye for the ridiculous and can tell a joke at their expense tend to woo a crowd more than the serious academic. This applies to both the sexes.

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