What role does a man’s intelligence play in women’s mate preferences? Selecting a more intelligent mate often provides women with better access to resources and parental investment for offspring. But this preference may also provide indirect genetic benefits in the form of having offspring who are in better physical condition, regardless of parental provisioning. Intelligence then may serve as both a cue of a mate’s provisioning abilities and his overall heritable phenotypic quality. In the current study, we examined the role of a man’s intelligence in women’s long- and short-term mate preferences. We used a rigorous psychometric measure (men’s WAIS scores) to assess intelligence (the first study to our knowledge), in addition to women’s subjective ratings to predict mate appeal. We also examined the related trait of creativity, using women’s ratings as a first step, to assess whether creativity could predict mate appeal, above and beyond intelligence. Finally, we examined whether preferences for intelligent and creative short-term mates shifted according to a woman’s conception risk. Multilevel modeling was used to identify predictors of mate appeal. Study participants (204 women) assessed the long- and short-term mate appeal of videos of 15 men with known measures of intelligence performing verbal and physical tasks. Findings indicate that both intelligence and creativity independently predicted mate appeal across mating contexts, but no conception-risk effects were detected. We discuss implications of these findings for the role of intelligence and creativity in women’s mate choices.
Of course, there’s also bad news for nerds: No sex in high school: “Higher intelligence operates as a protective factor against early sexual activity during adolescence, and lower intelligence, to a point, is a risk factor.”
That certainly matches up with what I remember of high school. And the movie Idiocracy.
* Daughters make Americans more conservative — but their representatives more liberal — “Conservative policies support the genetic fitness of women by capitalizing on each pregnancy, reducing male promiscuity, and increasing paternal investment in children.”
* Daughters make Brits more liberal — PDF — “The model describes a world in which, because of wage discrimination and different female preferences over public goods, parents rationally tilt to the left if they have daughters, and to the right if they have sons.”
The popularity of Snopes — it attracts seven million to eight million unique visitors in an average month — puts the couple in a unique position to evaluate digital society’s attitudes toward accuracy.
After 14 years, they seem to have concluded that people are rather cavalier about the facts.
In a given week, Snopes tries to set the record straight on everything from political smears to old wives’ tales. No, Kenya did not erect a sign welcoming people to the “birthplace of Barack Obama.” No, Wal-Mart did not authorize illegal immigration raids at its stores. No, the Olive Garden restaurant chain did not hand out $500 gift cards to online fans.
The Mikkelsons talk matter-of-factly about why these stories spread the way they do.
“Rumors are a great source of comfort for people,” Mrs. Mikkelson said.
And that’s the rub, isn’t it? People don’t much want to know the truth. They just want a story that amuses them, confirms their biases, or makes the world a more wondrous place.
ALSO: The dark truth about Snopes.com below the fold…
I'm a freelance writer and blogger based in Brooklyn, NY. My background is mostly in politics. I've worked on the editorial boards of the New York Sun and New York Post. In 2006, I wrote a book, "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party" (Wiley). I've also done my share of freelancing, for places like the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Reason, and RealClearPolitics.
These days, I'm interested in humanity's ever-expanding understanding of its own irrationality. Hence, this blog.
Comments, questions, news tips, creative verbal abuse, etc. can be sent to: editor-at-ryansager.com.