Friday, May 18, 2012

The sex appeal of IQ

Roissy considers it:
You’ve got two schools of thought. The first insists that smarts, like any other positive attribute, can only raise a man’s dating market value because women are hypergamous and appreciate a smarter man than themselves. The other school says that women are put off by men who are too much smarter than themselves, and that experience shows women fall for lunkhead jerks all the time, perhaps because these types of men are less introspective and more unthinkingly assertive about hitting on women.

The science I’ve read on this subject has been all over the place, but the consensus seems to be that having some smarts is a net plus to a man’s desirability.

Where do I come down on this perennial issue? I stick by the Dating Market Value Test for Men at the top of this blog. A better-than-average IQ is beneficial, but the benefits to picking up women begin to dissipate past a certain degree of brainpower, because very high IQ seems to be associated with a lack of social savviness and other off-putting personality quirks.
I agree with Roissy to a point. My perspective is that intelligence is a major plus in two circumstances. First, it is a huge DHV when dealing with women who place value on intelligence. These tend to be educated women in the 1 SD+ category; it's easy to spot them because they will mention a) their academic credentials, or b) how smart they are, within the first five minutes of meeting someone new. There is nothing that turns them on faster than being corrected or seeing a man intellectually humiliate someone. Second, it can be a very useful tool for both social and sexual dominance.

That being said, one should never confuse the tool for the consequence of its use and that is the problem that most smart guys face. Most smart men think that displaying their intelligence, usually in some hopelessly dorky manner, will make them more attractive to women. This is not the case. Whereas women are attracted to muscles and strong bodies for their own sake, and not merely because they can indicate social and sexual dominance, the first group aside, they are not attracted to intelligence for its own sake, only when it is used to dominate others.

For example, if the science geek takes an arrogant attitude and openly disrespects less intelligent men as barely evolved chimpanzees, women will be attracted to him. Of course, he has to be able to back it up and few science geeks can. That's why men who are balanced, who honor the Greek ideal of developing mind, body, and soul, will tend to clean up with women, because there are few things that women find more attractive than a man who can dominate them and others both physically and mentally. However, mental dominance isn't as readily apparent as physical dominance, which is why this takes us back to the "chicks dig jerks" theme. A smart asshole doesn't hesitate to exert his mental dominance, whereas the average smart nice guy will do everything in his power to refrain from demonstrating it in any way. Needless to say, women will be attracted to the former, not the latter. Think of the "apples" scene in Good Will Hunting. That is a clear demonstration of mental dominance driving attraction; it may not be as much of a turn-on as a physical beat-down, but make no mistake, it's a beat-down and it's going to turn on most woman who witness it, especially if they happen to have any brains of their own.

It's not that women are any more interested in football games and motorcycles than physics and philosophy, it's just that they usually can't understand the latter.


Anonymous said...

Corollary: only verbal intelligence matters in attracting women. Mathematical intelligence is worthless.

modernguy said...

All true on an animal level. And women these days are certainly behaving more like animals. Interesting what this says about your wife, considering how proud you are to be a asshole. It rather reminds one of the zoo.

stg58 said...

I agree with Anonymous. Remember the Talking Barbie commercial on SNL got so much hate? "Math is hard".

VD said...

You just never stop nipping at those ankles, do you, modernguy... it is amusing.

Jehu said...

A lot of women basically demand that you be at least as smart as they are, or preferably somewhat smarter, if you're to be a marriage candidate. But those same women won't give you a pass on their social status requirements because of how smart you are. If she's an 80th percentile attractiveness woman, with, say 3 sigma brainpower, she's going to expect that you be 80th percentile (ballpark) in social status/dominance as well as 3 sigma+ in brainpower. When you add in the fact that she likely expects you to be comparable or higher in economic status too, you're often dealing with a woman who is largely priced out of the MMP.
On the flip side, a guy who is in the 80th-90th percentile of status is going to nearly always go for an 80th-90th percentile attractiveness woman. If he cares about her smarts, he'll get the smartest 80th-90th percentile woman he can manage, he won't go for a woman downmarket normally who happens to be much smarter, unless he's in some place where the MMP is really inefficient, like Alaska.

modernguy said...

Vox: hey, is it true or not? If a woman is drawn(or allows herself to be drawn) to the most overt or ruthless display of power it's a valid question to ask yourself what it says about the woman.

VD said...

If a woman is drawn(or allows herself to be drawn) to the most overt or ruthless display of power it's a valid question to ask yourself what it says about the woman.

It's a dumb question. All that tells you is that she's female and seeks security.

modernguy said...

That's the whole issue, most women in our civilization don't need that kind of security. But a lot of them allow themselves to be thrilled by those kinds of displays. And the more they encourage it the more they pull us down into the animal world.

R. Bradley Andrews said...

Men are just as responsible for the modern state of affairs in male-female relations. It takes two to tango. Sure, women let some men behave poorly and ignore others, but men have their own responsibilities.

Both sides need significant change if civilization is to survive. We may have a rough time before they do.

Stickwick said...

For example, if the science geek takes an arrogant attitude and openly disrespects less intelligent men as barely evolved chimpanzees, women will be attracted to him.

This is why I feel ever-so-slightly attracted to Sheldon Cooper, even though he's skinny, unmanly, and asexual.

James Mark II said...

Draw the I.q. line.

Doom said...

The problem with defining certain qualities in men that women like is that women are inconstant beasties. It depends on the day of delivery. If they are ovulating, forget it, they are looking for a neanderthal named Bigus Dickus. Otherwise they look for at least an alpha-beta cross. When intellect and alpha cross, so that the guy can gauge her a bit and react to her stimulus, on the average, he will do better. And, my guess is, men have shifts in pheromone levels and patterns too. That's why it's hit or miss almost no matter, to some degree.

Though I do agree with you, regarding intellect itself. There are diminishing returns, but it is a positive until it becomes too much of what a guy is. Same with the downward direction, starting at 5 to 15 points above the woman's IQ (give or take, just... example numbers). Women are generally average intellect and look for a smarter guy. Too smart though, and they are the ones who feel overwhelmed, fearful. Unlike what some of them believe, that men fear smart women. Oh, it's a cute fuzzy smart woman... run away, run away fast!

SouthTX said...

I'm Married to a smart Woman. Tested out at a 130 IQ. Mine's 10 higher. She is also wise. Her success in her business proves it. I'll take old school wisdom. A 10 point delta seems about right from my personal experience. Listening to her unload about her front office staff that are female. I thought I have seen drama. What I do, there are no females. On the plus side. The kid's are smart and big. The daughter will probably play college volleyball.

SouthTX said...

I have fulfiled my biological derective. I have 3 kid's. Although we would have more if she didn't have health issues.

stagedreality said...

View intelligence the same way you would a physical muscle. Women enjoy a man that can use intelligence as a social muscle to provide safety - and I mean that in the ability to flex that intelligence by putting people in their place when needed. The authoritatively use of intelligence by a leader to put a follower on the correct course.

Just like women like men who can use physicality to lead. A good physique can attract a woman initially, but you have to demonstrate through body language that you aren't afraid to use it appropriately. Not dangerously to her, but that you wouldn't hesitate to physically put someone in their place if conditions warranted the use of force.

It just happens that having the intelligent muscles instead of the physical ones are more likely to come with the package deal of undergoing feminist indoctrination, beta training, and effeminate behavior along with the formal education.

SouthTX said...

Growing up in a rough land. You don't see many weak guys. Or they know how to camaflouge themselves. Good for them. I have met my biological goals. I live for God and family. But since my biology is satisfied. Protecting them means I am ruthless. I keep a shovel handy. Lie, deny, anf forget.

SouthTX said...

I think Pablo Escobar was an idiot. After finding the fact's. If you have friends you can trust. share the wealth. It is a good investment. He was stupid. Rather have bro's I trust. God keep me from the darkside.

Darrell S. said...

My sister comes to mind here... 143 IQ, maybe a 6 or 7 on the hotness scale, filled with half-believed feminist and leftist dogma.
After thirty-odd years without showing any interest in men, she married a man clearly and substantially her superior in every way, especially the intellectual, which is the primary mode for both of them.
In other words, the ONLY man who caught her attention is a very intelligent "professorial" type who can easily out-think and out-talk her. She always hated it when her father or I did that, but admires it greatly in him.

SouthTX said...

Let me break it down. Girl's give good kid's and take care of shit. You have status. We will lay it down because we mostly care for our kid's. If you want to take it up a level, you had better be a Proverbs 35.

SouthTX said...

Harsh. But the truth.

SouthTX said...

God knew what he was doing. Marraige 1.0 We still have it in the badlands. She is sweet, seldom tell her no. Kid's are happy. They have both parents looking after them.

Aeoli Pera said...

But only on the 35th of February. Lardy.

Aeoli Pera said...

So you believe in a strict division between body and mind?

Do you also believe that with enough education, introspection, and/or external controls humankind can be less susceptible to atavism?

Anonymous said...

Intelligence a handicap? IQ communcation gaps?

Hannibal Lector with an IQ north of 200 anybody?

That's right. He EATS people, and women are still attracted. "Oh how eloquent he is. He even cooks. Don't worry, I can change him." Spin hamster, spin!

Anonymous said...

"For example, if the science geek takes an arrogant attitude and openly disrespects less intelligent men as barely evolved chimpanzees, women will be attracted to him."

A question about this.

Don't girls also like socially aware men? Like, if you act like a pedantic dick who nitpicks meaningless things, sure you might be technically correct, but who is going to care? That seems like it would just end up making you look like a loser or a douche to me.

Or is it something else?

Stickwick said...

Pedantic nitpicking is rarely seen as a meaningful display of superiority, so Vox is likely referring to something else.

The character of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory is a fairly good example of someone who engages in both meaningless pedantry and arrogant disrespect. His frequent nitpicking is one reason he's believable as a social outcast, but his deep contempt for those less intelligent than him (i.e. everyone else) is what makes him by far the most interesting character on the show. See here. Right up until he starts physically fighting with the other physicist, he's displaying the sort of open disrespect I think Vox was referring to. If it wasn't for the fact that Sheldon's so unmanly in other ways, his arrogant superiority would make him very attractive to women.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so basically just being a smartass.

SouthTX said...

No, a smart ass is generally well liked. I, for better or worse work with good folks not as smart as me. They do great work. I respect the hell out of them. The Big bang guy wouldn't survive his first day out of SWPL land. At least down here, girl's instinctively avoid those types. Over the year's I have had the occasion to work with some engineering Phd's. Most are strange. The most sane one I knew was actually Palestinian. All of them told us to call them by their first names. You had to drag it out of them while working long hours they had a Phd.

SouthTX said...

These guy's were world class smart. Leading R&D types. I give them respect that they knew they needed folks who could make their inventions work.

Anonymous said...

High IQ girls men can use their brains like any other asset - leverage them into social dominance. High IQ women have a more interesting problem. I find them very attractive if they are witty and reasonably attractive (6+-7 physically) plus socially dominant. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but a woman who is a control problem poses an ongoing and very interesting challenge, the conquest is never quite completed. They have a timing problem though, and an SMV problem.

High IQ, high achieving women tend to equate their professional credentialling as adding value at the same rate that male credentialling does. It doesn't though. A 35 year old male surgeon is a catch. A 35 year old female surgeon is a woman with an interesting and somewhat lucrative profession, that may get in the way of having kids unless she decides to change to a 9-5 speciality. On the *sexual* market, which is about reproduction, that causes trouble.

There is a timing problem for smart women as well. Women who are real catches generally ignore 20-something men who are establishing their professional lives en route to high SMV. High SMV men, on the other hand, pay a great deal of attention to 20-something women, attention which drops considerably (along with fertility rates) at age 30. So women who put marriage and kids on the back burner don't really enter the sexual marketplace until their strongest asset on the market is depreciating, and then they tend to overvalue the plus factors - grad degrees, etc. They get left dating the leftovers - lesser beta / deltas who are at best Herb candidates in the hands of a smart, socially dominant woman. This leaves the men a bit bewildered and comfortable in a childish, non-pants-wearing role, and it leaves the women (at least the ones who don't get the dynamic) frustrated.

A good friend of mine (Math & Physics PhDs) is in this boat. She's realized that the feminist trope about having it all is bullshit, and has taken to telling anybody who will listen as much. She's 35 though, knows the clock is ticking, and has dated a succession of 35-40 year-old guys who just refuse to wear the pants- they can't even forthrightly say whether they might be interested in marriage and kids in the long run, or just fooling around; they tend to just be gutless. She's come around to the idea that looking for similarly professionally credentialed high IQ type guys isn't going to bring her happiness, that what she really needs is a very masculine guy who makes her feel womanly, and that the other stuff will work itself out. Her dating life has improved considerably since she changed tactics (dating some successful blue collar business owners, a military officer) but it isn't clear how it will work out in the long run.

If I had a very bright daughter who was looking at getting an advanced degree I'd have to counsel her to find a husband early, let the career sort itself out as time goes one.

Anonymous said...

BTW, typo in the first sentence (they always appear after hitting "send") and strike "girls". FWIW, my lady friend with the PhDs is quite attractive, an athletic 7 physically, midwestern good looks - but not a knockout little Buffy type of the sort most very high SMV guys (similarly credentialed) seem to look for.

Orion said...

Don't forget he is also wrong more often than not, with perhaps the exception of physics (he is literally a walking bullhorn of what liberals think is reality. All who disagree are idiots). Though I recall the one time he got a paper in front of Hawking there was an error on the first page that skewed the entire paper and invalidated the results. I find the show amusing because it reflects mostly the liberal end of the geek continuum. The conservative end leaves college at some point, gets jobs and produces value in society.

LP 999/Eliza said...

The following is not entirely serious, should not be taken too heavily and is completely unedited.

I'll add history to physics and philosophy. Its great cure insomnia where as sports/motorbikes are too loud.

Speaking of leaders, nazi's and media personalities...

I kid around about their attraction or level of alphafinesse. I know others find it irritating but its completely amusing for me to promote a Putin or Nigel Farage instead of a Cameron or Hamid Karzai as attractive.

Another example; FB's Mark, Jamie Dimon have nothing on a Lewis Black. Lewis is ridiculously funny, angry and Jewish. Marky and Dimon look like dorks with money. Who needs money when a girl can choose vast capital ruthlessness or easy-going humor? Who wouldn't feel safer with a Putin or a angry Jewish dude over a homo looking dude like Hamid or Cameron?

And Nigel Farage is clearly eloquent and smarter than the bore that Jim Cramer of CNBC would be.

dice3510 said...

Does being jerk that women are attracted to require mental or physical superiority?

SouthTX said...

You don't have to be a jerk at all. But she had better know you are the real deal. Once they see it, they will do whatever it takes for you and your children.

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