Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The appeal of female intelligence

One of the primary challenges of explaining the rules of attraction to the opposite sex is that both sides have a natural tendency to project their own attraction factors to the other one.  So, men can't figure out why women aren't attracted to loyalty, responsibility, and sexual purity while women can't figure out why men aren't attracted to university degrees, good jobs, and intelligence.  This last matter is one of particular importance to a certain group of women, as women who identify themselves as intelligent find it especially difficult to grasp that what they consider their primary attribute, and what they tend to find tremendously attractive in men, is of relatively little value to men as an initial attractant.

As I have previously pointed out, the fact that nearly all women are attracted to smarter men and desire them as mates does not mean that most men feel that way. This should be obvious, and it is a very good thing too, otherwise it would be almost impossible for men and women to pair off.  After all, both sides of the couple can't be the smarter one any more than they can both be the taller one.  Most women understand that dumb men aren't attracted smart women - such men feel "threatened" is the usual line - and they aren't concerned about that because, being hypergamous, they usually aren't attracted to less intelligent men.  What they don't understand, unfortunately, is that most intelligent men aren't attracted to their intelligence either.

That doesn't mean that smart men don't value female intelligence in a relationship, only that they tend to do so in the way that a woman values loyalty in a man.  But it means that men don't, by and large, find themselves instinctively drawn to displays of female intelligence in the same way they are drawn to displays of large breasts, well-formed posteriors, or long hair.

But even when female intelligence is valued, the value isn't necessarily what the average smart women thinks it might be.  This is because intelligence, like height, is relative, and +1SD is +1 SD. The "smart" 120 IQ girl looks even dumber to the 150 IQ guy than the "dumb" 95 IQ girl does to the "smart" girl. And once the intelligence gap passes a standard deviation, it can be difficult to distinguish between the various stupidities being expressed, so for the highly intelligent man, it doesn't much matter if she's got an IQ of 85 or 135, because it all looks pretty much the same to him.  The lower IQ may even be preferred by some men, since intelligent women tend to be much less agreeable and more prone to instigating verbal conflict than their less intelligent sisters.  One is unlikely to see a woman with an IQ below 116 launching into a pedantic fighting withdrawal every time she is caught saying something materially false, just to give one example.

Height is a useful proxy here.  If you're Shaq, can you even tell at first glance if a woman is 5'2"or 5'8"?  Does it really make any difference to you?  Then consider that to a man with the lowest possible Mensa score of 132, a woman with an average IQ of 100 is proportionately to him what a 5'4" woman is to the 7'1" Shaq.  It's even worse at the so-called genius level of 145 IQ; the average woman looks proportionately like a 4 foot-something midget.  For most tall men, anyone below a certain height is simply "short".  And for most intelligent men, anyone below a certain level of intelligence is simply... let's just say "├╝nfiver".

However, there is one area where intelligent men tend to value female intelligence, namely, their offspring.  Very few smart men can bear the idea that their children might be grinning idiots incapable of any intelligent discourse with them.  However, note that children are an intrinsically LTR-related subject, which shows why attempting to use one's intelligence to initially attract a man in an STR context is a basic category error.  It no more works for a woman to attempt to attract a man by displaying her ability to bear him smart children than for a man to attempt to attract a woman by displaying his agreeability as well as the high probability that he will always remember her birthday and the correct toilet seat position.

So, female intelligence does have an appeal to the sort of men that smart women want, but it has to be utilized correctly, and in the proper context.  (Of course, this is also true of the appeal of male intelligence to women, but we'll save that for a future post.)  The key thing to remember is the vital distinction between I (initial attraction) factors and R (relationship) factors.  For men who value it, intelligence is almost always an R factor, not an I factor.

64 comments:

Mr Green Man said...

To paraphrase the late Saddam Hussein: Don't marry a woman who is too smart or too dumb.

Heh said...

Too ugly, and the relationship won't even begin, no matter how smart she is.

Too dumb, and the relationship won't last no matter how hot she is.

Rock Throwing Peasant said...

Female intelligence has been an aggravating topic for me over the last year. (Soon to be) Ex-wife is a lab tech. She is also completely irrational and always has been. The saying “Book smart” comes to mind, but she doesn’t know much beyond her profession. For me, though, it’s not the intelligence gap (hold a conversation, for example), it’s her irrationality that drives me bonkers.

She instigated a frivolous divorce that will cost us at least $35,000 between the two of us and she complained about a $70 co-pay just yesterday. When I suggested a simple way to cut $1,200 from her budget (send the boys to the local public school and refinance the house to a 30 year mortage), she says it's not the right time to refinance (yes, she said that). In addition, she's thinking about buying insurance from her company to off-set the co-pay. Yes, she thinks spending for additional insurance is cheaper than just paying the occassional co-pay.

Trust me, she's not trying to be sneaky about getting me on the hook for additional insurance. I've known this woman for 15 years and she's just not clever. I pay nothing toward her mortgage, as well. She's paying additional toward her house for reasons unknown, because her credit wasn't terrible.

I hate the divorce, but I will be glad when I am not yoked to that mind.

On the plus side, she contributed fairly good genetic material to my sons.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how intelligent a woman is. As a general rule, she will resort to her feelings and emotions first.

deti

Professor Hale said...

Also, most people over-rate their own intelligence. When it is objectively provable that they are not smart, they resort to quibbles about being "street smart" instead of "book smart". Women add to their own self assessment by adding in "intuition". No woman wants to think of herself as being below average intelligence, but obviously, half of them are.

Cryan Ryan said...

"One of the primary challenges of explaining the rules of attraction to the opposite sex is that both sides have a natural tendency to project their own attraction factors to the other one."

Vox do you really think it is a natural tendency of men to project our views to women, or is this an unnatural tendency - pounded into our heads by 12 years of misinformation coming from feminist teachers and feminist slanted media?

Ted D said...

The perfect amount of intelligence is enough that I can talk to my wife about my work and she doesn't get that "glazed over" look in her eyes, but not so much that she can actually talk shop. (I'm in IT.)

To me, the ability to reason and think using logic is more important than raw IQ. Yeah, deti is right that in moments of crises chances are she will go back to relying on her "feelings", but if the ability for rational thought is already established, it makes the job of talking her off the edge MUCH easier. In addition, I at least know how to engage with her rational self even if I can't make any sense of the emotional babble coming from her lips.

It helps a great deal if she has something other than how she feels to base her existence on. At least I can tell her to knock off the drama, take a deep breath, and think. As long as she doesn't get my riled up first. Her best weapon is pissing me off, because then neither of us is thinking logically.

Stickwick said...

The "smart" 120 IQ girl looks even dumber to the 150 IQ guy than the "dumb" 95 IQ girl does to the "smart" girl. And once the intelligence gap passes a standard deviation, it can be difficult to distinguish between the various stupidities being expressed ...

I get the point you're making and the height analogy helps. However, you've mentioned before that IQ is not the sole indicator of one's intellectual capacity. If it were, then Richard Feynman would be a mental midget compared with men of very high IQ. Or would even Feynman have been considered stupid by a man who is +3 SD? If not, does this mean a woman who is +1 or 2 SD could still manage to not seem a tedious sub-intellect to higher-IQ men?

swiftfoxmark2 said...

Ask any man what they look for in a woman and I doubt more than 2% would say, "intelligence".

Of course, "stupid" is also not on the list either. As Ron White said, "you can't fix stupid."

Rennie said...

"...while women can't figure out why men aren't attracted to university degrees, good jobs, and intelligence."

The irony here is even if you are a guy who is initially attracted to women for exactly those factors you'll also end up being immediately disqualified by those same women specifically because of it.

Rennie said...

"After all, both sides of the couple can't be the smarter one any more than they can both be the taller one."

Objectively true, but this discounts the considerable effect of self-delusion. There are plenty of couples walking around out there where both the man and the woman are convinced they are the smarter half of the pair.

Nah said...

Vox do you really think it is a natural tendency of men to project our views to women, or is this an unnatural tendency - pounded into our heads by 12 years of misinformation coming from feminist teachers and feminist slanted media?

12 years? Feminist teachers and the feminist slanted media have been around MUCH longer than that.

I would say it is a natural tendency. Back when I was a lad, I was convinced women valued looks, even though women weren't telling me that (they were telling me the usual "be nice, be yourself, put her on a pedestal" crap).

Lucas said...

What he said.

VD said...

Vox do you really think it is a natural tendency of men to project our views to women, or is this an unnatural tendency - pounded into our heads by 12 years of misinformation coming from feminist teachers and feminist slanted media?

I think it is natural. Children naturally think the world revolves around them. The misinformation merely reinforces this natural tendency, it does not create it.

Or would even Feynman have been considered stupid by a man who is +3 SD?

Probably. I read several of his books. His scientific achievements were remarkable, his demonstrated cognitive abilities in other areas considerably less so.

If not, does this mean a woman who is +1 or 2 SD could still manage to not seem a tedious sub-intellect to higher-IQ men?

Yes. A woman with -1 or -2 SD could manage it. Tedious behavior isn't solely related to intellect. As I've mentioned, I usually find self-styled smart women to be considerably more tedious than average or even unintelligent women.

The latter usually aren't "smart" enough to try to run the same fundamentally flawed arguments I've heard and demolished 20 times before past me. And they don't expect me to take them seriously either.

I mean, I'd much rather have a conversation about the outfits that the Vikings cheerleaders are wearing than listen to some Ivy League graduate attempt to show off her sociology degree.

VD said...

Or would even Feynman have been considered stupid by a man who is +3 SD?

On second thought, stupid is too harsh. Feynman not only knew his limitations, but understood the limits of science too. Let's just say that they would be more impressed by his ability to get the most out of what he had than by his raw intellectual powers.

Anonymous said...

Beauty, brains, sanity.

Pick two.

FNG said...

And once the intelligence gap passes a standard deviation, it can be difficult to distinguish between the various stupidities being expressed, so for the highly intelligent man, it doesn't much matter if she's got an IQ of 85 or 135, because it all looks pretty much the same to him. The lower IQ may even be preferred by some men, since intelligent women tend to be much less agreeable and more prone to instigating verbal conflict than their less intelligent sisters. One is unlikely to see a woman with an IQ below 116 launching into a pedantic fighting withdrawal every time she is caught saying something materially false, just to give one example

Vox, how dare you! God, you sound just like my lawyer wife.....Oh, wait......

Anonymous said...

> 12 years? Feminist teachers and the feminist slanted media have been around MUCH longer than that.

Uh, "12 years" refers to the amount of time people spend in school (K-12).

Trust said...

I liked the anology a while back that women watch sports and see men running around with a ball whereas men see strategy, and men watch soaps/chickflix and see acting whereas women see strategy.

That is applicable. Women are constantly leveraging for superiority, be it condescension towards men/husbands, or cliches/activism such as "equal pay for equal work" and "men have fear of commitment". Yet, while pursuing and/or obtaining legal/academic/economic/social superiority they also have a chorus of "man up" and encourage men to surpass them.

In other words, women use a number of means to rise above men while pushing men to rise above them. Women only like to date/marry/mate up and get more for themselves... and leveraging their inferiorities to get more resources and their superiories to get more from men is part of the strategy.

Stickwick said...

Thanks, Vox. I mostly get it now.

Tedious behavior isn't solely related to intellect.

Certainly, though I didn't quite mean it that way. Tedious was probably the wrong word. I was thinking of a hypothetical woman who is intellectually honest and non-combative, but who is not sufficiently cerebral for high-level discourse with a very intelligent man. In other words, could she have conversations with such a man and not bore him to death.

Anonymous said...

Feynman was without a doubt a very smart scientist, buy maybe there is a point about his unimpressive IQ, there are many physicists as smart as him or maybe smarter, but not even close famous as him.

What distinguishes Feynman from others was his charisma and good social skills which is so rare among scientists that he is put on a pedestal.

Anonymous said...

Here is why I as a man am not especially choosy when it comes to intelligence in females.

First, women use about 25% more of their brain during a conversation than men do. With this crutch, even dumber women can keep me on my toes.

Second, as a man, I am only ever a few failed shit tests in a row from being dumped (sadly, this may not change even when I get married). If a dumber girl gives me more predictable or easier shit tests, then that is a better woman to be in a relationship with.

Roundtine said...

I'm not up on my genetics, but since women tend more towards the mean and men more the tails, isn't the father's intelligence/athletic ability more important than the mother's?

dice3510 said...

Why do you appeal to IQ to compare people's intelligence when you admitted you do not believe it is an accurate measure of intelligent?

Do you really believe it could be said that the difference in intellectual capacity between 130 IQ and 110 IQ could be said to be the same as between 110 IQ and 90 IQ?

Stickwick said...

What distinguishes Feynman from others was his charisma and good social skills which is so rare among scientists that he is put on a pedestal.

Put on a pedestal by the public, yes. There are others who are FAR less charismatic and socially adept who are pedestalized in the scientific community, but are unknown or unloved by the public.

Feynman's popularity was due in large part to his exceptional interest in mentoring and teaching, and his success in popularizing obscure topics in physics -- most very high-IQ people are not good at these things, either because they can't relate to the average dope or they have no patience for it. But there was also that business about a Nobel Prize, which tends to distinguish scientists.

In terms of what Vox was saying, Feynman's notoriety was all about accomplishment, not raw intellectual power. For better or worse, most women (esp. these days) do not value accomplishment as a means to distinguish themselves. This is bad news for a woman who thinks her higher IQ is of great value, only to find that not only is it not considered sexy, not only is it not necessarily all that impressive to smarter men, but if she has no accomplishments to distinguish herself, she's SOL.

Ian Ironwood said...

I'm one of those dudes who screened for intelligence pretty severely, as I cannot abide stupidity at any level and I wanted my kids to be brilliant.

Mission Accomplished. 2 kids with genius level IQ, a third that's almost as smart but more socially adept like his mama. I couldn't have asked for better. Cleaner, perhaps, but not better.

Mrs. Ironwood is not drop-dead gorgeous, and I'm OK with that. Her sister was prom queen and head cheerleader, so she has the genes for it, and I'm quite attracted to her, but I didn't put a high premium on the essentially transitory nature of beauty. Beauty can be faked, beauty fades, beauty comes out of a bottle -- femininity, however, is something any woman can do regardless of how you look. I'll take genuine femininity over overly-entitled "beauty" seven days a week.

But her brains were essential. Her brother was brilliant, I knew him in school and he was one of the few dudes I could carry on an intelligent conversation with without having to stop and explain myself. And Mrs. I was the Latin Club president in HS, did electron microscopy in college, and then played around with monkey brains in pure research before we decided to have kids and make more money.

But her high intelligence was a dealmaker for me. High intelligence . . . and low Batshit Crazy potential. One reason I value her so highly is that she doesn't automatically default to an emotional argument, she isn't overly solipsistic, and she is highly libidinous. I'll stick with brains and sanity, thankyouverymuch. Of course, not everyone has the same values as me, and that's fine. Pick your own poison, just know what the hell you want before you sign anything.

Me, I wanted a hardcore nerd girl. Not just because I'm a nerdy dude myself, and I wanted to have little nerdlings . . . but also because I'm so, so much better looking and aware of my own sex rank now than I was when I met her...that I enjoy the visceral pleasure of getting hit on by women in my town and nuking their poor little hamsters with: "Sorry, Cupcake, you shoulda jumped on the Ironwood Express back in my twenties -- but I doubt you would have made the long-term cut." Some of them have even tried to use their relatively higher beauty than my wife's as leverage. That's even better, when they do that.

Why? Because if they don't know it already, I whip out the Porn Card. If they try to out-sexy Mrs. Ironwood I shake my head sadly and give them a look up and down.

"Cupcake, you sure you want to go there? Maybe my wife isn't winning any beauty contests, but I objectify women for a living. And while I suppose you're attractive enough in your way, the truth is that I've seen better racks than that . . . today. And there ain't nothing you can do in bed that Mrs. I hasn't already tried and conquered, so my expectations in that department are ridiculously high. And honey, I just can't see you being able to compete."

They usually get pissed off, but mostly they just slink away. THAT'S a huge payoff. When a former beta nerd is secure and confident enough in his relationship to not just turn down sex with a relatively hot woman, but reject her so thoroughly that the next step leads to public embarrassment, that is the most delicious revenge a nerd can ask for. Mrs. I put in the years with me when I didn't seem to have much "potential" -- and thanks to porn, I'm immune to glamour and feminine wiles.

paul a'barge said...

google "hypergamy"

VD said...

In other words, could she have conversations with such a man and not bore him to death.

Yes, of course. Most intelligent people, especially men, take pleasure in instructing those with open minds. The key is learning the difference between asking questions for clarification and presenting challenges.

Why do you appeal to IQ to compare people's intelligence when you admitted you do not believe it is an accurate measure of intelligent?

Because it is a useful proxy for intelligence. I can't be expected individually survey each person myself and no one else is likely to accept my verdicts on the matter. I've only think in terms of six or seven levels of intelligence anyhow, which is why I prefer to write in terms of standard deviations rather than IQ points.

Feynman's popularity was due in large part to his exceptional interest in mentoring and teaching, and his success in popularizing obscure topics in physics

Bingo. Popularizers are always less intelligent than the originators, even though the masses think the popularizers are the brilliant ones. See: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc. And Feynman was a very entertaining guy for a scientist.

if she has no accomplishments to distinguish herself, she's SOL.

In fact, if you're smart and you have no accomplishments, that's a strike against you. Hell, I often question the usefulness of my own intelligence on that basis. Of course, I already know I'm too lazy.

Aeoli Pera said...

One is unlikely to see a woman with an IQ below 116 launching into a pedantic fighting withdrawal every time she is caught saying something materially false, just to give one example.

Absolutely correct. At least a dumb girl can imagine that she has made a mistake, because the idea has been pounded into her head at school.

dice3510 said...

"in terms of six or seven levels of intelligence"

Hmm, so you think +4SD is the ceiling of human intelligence?

Daniel said...

Ian, you just described, complete with weird revenge fantasies, Gamma World to a tee and I don't mean the rpg.

Ana Bastow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@Ian
That should had been the script of Revenge of the Nerds movies. I never got why it had to be about winning the hot cheerleader that sounds like a reward for ignoring the nerd...but what do I know I'm just a girl. :p

Anacaona

Athor Pel said...

"Stickwick said...

Thanks, Vox. I mostly get it now.

Tedious behavior isn't solely related to intellect.

Certainly, though I didn't quite mean it that way. Tedious was probably the wrong word. I was thinking of a hypothetical woman who is intellectually honest and non-combative, but who is not sufficiently cerebral for high-level discourse with a very intelligent man. In other words, could she have conversations with such a man and not bore him to death.
September 25, 2012 8:51 AM "




The relationship would be teacher-student in character in many areas of their life together. Being a teacher is not for the lazy nor for the careless. It ain't easy. Plenty of challenge there.

Intellectual honesty is a large equalizer. If you don't have the mental horsepower you can still arrive at a destination even if you don't get there quite as fast as the high IQ folks just as long as you are intellectually honest with yourself and with respect to objective reality.

If a woman is proven intellectually honest then that fact gains much respect in my book. Asking pertinent questions, seeing the subject from a uniquely female point of view while staying intellectually honest and providing that view in words a man can understand is a priceless gift that a woman can provide to the men she loves. If you want some respect then this a uniquely feminine way to do it.


Vox said...

Hmm, so you think +4SD is the ceiling of human intelligence?

Not at all. I personally know two people who are definitely above that.

Daniel said...

Uhm, within the social order, when the nerd "breaks out the porn card" it isn't exactly the ace in the hole that he thinks it is.

What Ian fails to recognize is that even the highest-end porn actress is many degrees lower on the social-sexual hierarchy than her looks will indicate. Since 9 and 10s in Hollywood have no incentive whatsoever to do porn, they don't, so the looks threshold in pornography is rare natural 8s and (sometimes far) below.

They are, by definition, sluts. An N count that high virtually reduces even the top-of-the-line porn star (a physical 8) to a 4 or 5 (again, for purpose of the social-sexual hierarchy, not necessarily actual appearance), which is at least not completely out of striking distance for a gamma male, although still a stretch (most gammas, if they are realistic with themselves, can attract and have 1s,2s and 3s (both natural and "N-degraded") with relative ease.

What the gamma can't recognize is that women who are truly on the upper end of the social-sex spectrum would, in no way, be threatened by faux comparisons to porn stars as their social-sexual betters. It's akin to calling an Alpha a manwhore: it just doesn't stick.

So, in other words, Ian's scenario translates to:

Gamma with a brilliant but ugly wife with a high tolerance for a husband in the sex trade is approached frequently by high-N count natural 4s, whom he then publicly shames for the high crime of expressing a romantic interest in him by comparing them physically (in the negative) to an even higher-N count 6 (or thereabouts) that he ogled earlier that day.

Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

Josh said...

In women, I find intellectual curiosity more appealing than just raw intelligence.

Stickwick said...

... when the nerd "breaks out the porn card" it isn't exactly the ace in the hole that he thinks it is.

What's a porn card? Does that refer to someone who works in the industry or someone who's an aficionado?

Stingray said...

intellectual curiosity

Wasn't this once considered a very useful feminine wile?

Jimmy said...

A man can be extremely smart and women can value that, but women will always hold the trump card (not their breasts that can cause any man to lose IQ points), which is men can never figure out what women think. The longer I was with a women that despised me (my first wife), I realized that I can never satisfy her since she always moved the goal posts. She has her own way of winning the argument. She poses a solution that was predicated on her getting her way. Thus, she is reasonable since she gets her way and it makes perfect sense to her. Nevermind how I think and feel.

Best to be with a woman that isn't so intelligent. An intelligent or smart woman isn't a fact. It just means she worked hard to get what SHE WANTS.

VD said...

Since 9 and 10s in Hollywood have no incentive whatsoever to do porn, they don't, so the looks threshold in pornography is rare natural 8s and (sometimes far) below.

I don't think you can generalize about the entire industry. Remember, acting is a genuine talent. Those who can't act, do porn. I would bet that the prettiest porn stars are more attractive than the prettiest Hollywood stars, because the potential talent pool is so much larger even if one leaves the Jewish/nepotism/Scientology factors out of the equation.

Include those factors and it becomes obvious that Hollywood is less about looks than porn. Of course, porn has to appeal to a wide range of men. We found some old 80s porn mags at the Digital Ghetto when we moved in and most of those women were downright HEINOUS.

It was like anti-porn.

VD said...

women will always hold the trump card (not their breasts that can cause any man to lose IQ points), which is men can never figure out what women think.

How is that a trump card? Assuming it is true, which it isn't. Figuring out what women think isn't exactly rocket science. Just put yourself in their shoes....

Daniel said...

Stickwick
What's a porn card? Does that refer to someone who works in the industry or someone who's an aficionado?

I was just going off of Ian's gamma scenario. In his case, when he breaks it out, he's letting the women who are beneath his attention that he works in pornography.

"Gamma acceptance Game" is a strange and interesting little microverse.

Trust said...

If both men and women project themselves on the other, the fact that men seem to instinctively assume their wives have good intentions whereas women more often assume their husbands have nefarious motives... that outta tell us something.

Joe Blow said...

Vox's initial point that intelligence isn't an initial attractiveness factor is borne out by a colleague & friend who is aging and having dating trouble. She is physically a 7, but when you know her she rates higher than that, really uses her wits to make herself interesting and more attractive, and she's low key and very rational, a classic +2 for personality.

The problem is you generally ask people out based on initial attractiveness, not R- atractiveness, so she winds up dating guys who are probably 6-7 - decent looking, okay career, and wears them out after a month or two. My married buddies all think of her as great wife material but it's easy to see why she doesn't make a good match with the guys who tend to ask her out. She's out of their league... but pre-selected out on a looks basis by most Alphas who are more in her long term league. Most women are lying to themselves about being "too much woman" for the men they date, some times it's true. Note to the women reading this: if you didn't complete a degree in mathematics by age 19, this probably doesn't apply to you.

Two other interesting things. One is that she knows she got lied to by feminism and is angry about it. She's a physics PhD/lawyer and kicked the guy who was probably "the one" (another geek, who now runs his own manufacturing company) to the curb in grad school to focus on her school and career, and is now 36 with low family prospects. She now says "you can't have it all" and is counseling her nieces, a huge pack of bright young scandanavian types, to marry and have kids young, the career will be there for them later on. The other thing is that her hamster, which is usually penned up by Spock-caliber logic, is a turbocharged, steroid driven rage-monster when it breaks out. I live in a lower middle class neighborhood of Mensatown, and my wife is somewhere 1-2 SD>the norm IQ wise and she's a handfull; if there's a correlation between brains and hamster strength, it makes me wonder what kind of shit tests a really brilliant woman like my friend can come up with. No doubt the hamster looks more like an angry bull to a lesser beta...

Rollo Tomassi said...

And here I thought men's intelligence is “sharp points,” while women's is “round.”

Heheh,..

Jimmy said...

"How is that a trump card? Assuming it is true, which it isn't. Figuring out what women think isn't exactly rocket science. Just put yourself in their shoes...."

Okay, they hate you. They didn't just say it, but they hint around.

Goodness, their shoes hurt. Men have been figuring this out for for years and it gets down to "if only a women thinks like a man."

Mrs. Pilgrim said...

Just put yourself in their shoes...

I don't recommend it. Most men don't have the legs for heels.

As to the topic at hand, it's partly projection, but it's also partly indoctrination. Particularly intelligent women ARE encouraged to define ourselves first as "intelligent" and later as "women". Even men (particularly our fathers) who know better will sometimes push this tripe on us. And if the men in our lives say it's attractive, why should we question it? Wouldn't they know better?

I could describe the vicious cycle of how this creates and drives the aforementioned bat-guano insanity, but that's a long story and probably not welcome here anyway. Suffice it to say that both sexes have been ill served by this misunderstanding.

Cail Corishev said...

I'd quibble mildly with: "for the highly intelligent man, it doesn't much matter if she's got an IQ of 85 or 135." The 135 may not be able to talk to him about his day's work doing string theory (or whatever), but she can discuss abstract concepts of religion or society or the events of the day. She's smart enough to teach the kids or keep an eye on the job their schoolteachers are doing. She's capable of keeping a budget and spending money sensibly. The 85 would struggle with those things, and to the extent that she can handle them, it would take a lot more work and willpower on her part.

But you make a good point that the 135 can be a bigger thorn in your side if she so chooses. A favorite quote of mine is from Richard Hoste: "A high IQ person can accept silly ideologies that your average Joe can’t even understand." You could replace "accept silly ideologies" with "rationalize irrationality" and it'd be equally true.

I also agree that men like intelligence, but as a secondary trait. There were women in my past who I can see in hindsight weren't all that bright -- at least 2SD below me -- but I told myself they were smart because they enjoyed a book I recommended or liked doing jigsaw puzzles or something. I'd focus on something sort of smart or nerdy that they did, and call that evidence of intelligence, because I was already attracted to them and wanted them to be smart.

I tend to think -1SD is probably the sweet spot, much like I think about 10 years younger is the sweet spot on age. Smart enough to keep up, and smart enough to value intelligence enough to respect her husband's. A high-IQ guy definitely doesn't want a woman -- smart or otherwise -- who thinks IQ is a myth or some sort of racist plot. Those kind will tend to distrust intelligence and think their instinct/whim/inner-light should trump it when there are decisions to be made.

JCclimber said...

To Mrs. Pilgrim's comments - I have a friend who is quite smart (male), and accomplished within the specialty he works in. His older daughter is very smart, enough that parents of other children (not the same age group) in the same school know his daughter as "oh, she's the smart one".

He pushes her pretty hard academically (she's 11 now). It's already paying off in dividends in her getting to be a smart-alec and a little on the entitled bitchy side of things.

My wife and I still haven't figured out how to bring this (privately) to the father's attention. I probably will just have a man to man conversation one time, then drop it permanently. Along the lines of a reminder that no matter how brilliant his daughter may be, if her personality becomes poison, she'll be a childless spinster.

Cail Corishev said...

"Most intelligent people, especially men, take pleasure in instructing those with open minds."

Great point. I enjoy talking to kids about whatever's on their mind, as well as teaching them subjects that are certainly way below my level. Ditto with adults: very few day-to-day conversations require high intelligence. I can enjoy listening to anyone talk about something he's enthusiastic about, whether I'm challenged by it or not. And even if I'm not intentionally "instructing," I'll often be able to contribute some new information -- and may learn something myself.

On the other hand, I know a woman who's quite smart and was especially good at math as a kid. Yet she can't teach arithmetic to her own (average IQ) kids because she gets frustrated when they struggle and don't just "get it" like she did. She doesn't seem to have the ability to come down and engage them on their level. I never thought of that as a male/female thing before, and I doubt it is as a rule, but maybe there are leanings one way there.

Mike M. said...

I'm not sure intelligence is an attractor in women...but lack of intelligence can be repellent. Especially the sort that reflects badly on a man with her.

Much more repellent is a lack of good judgement.

Anonymous said...

Women's intelligence: the ability to deceive men into thinking women innately possess all the positive qualities men have, none of the limitless negative qualities (of any real consequence), and all of the unobservable, unsurpassable qualities otherwise limited to deities.


@Mrs. Pilgrim
Just put yourself in their shoes...
"I don't recommend it. Most men don't have the legs for heels."

I've never met or heard of a woman that does recommend that a man come to truly understand women.

"Particularly intelligent women ARE encouraged to define ourselves first as "intelligent" and later as "women". Even men (particularly our fathers) who know better will sometimes push this tripe on us."

Believe it or not, there are realms higher than womanhood. Some day you may thank them?

Jon

VD said...

He pushes her pretty hard academically (she's 11 now). It's already paying off in dividends in her getting to be a smart-alec and a little on the entitled bitchy side of things.

I would encourage him to direct her into some activities where she'll be intellectually challenged and forced to put herself in perspective. Given the general female disinterest in games, chess might be ideal. It's hard to get too carried away with your own childish brilliance when you're getting regularly spanked on the chess board.

Badger said...

Some have already mentioned, but I will re-emphasize, that it was sad to learn that intelligence in a woman often portends nothing more than a turbo-charged rationalization hamster.

Badger said...

And something Vox didn't talk about...I've come to view the "I want to be appreciated for my intelligence" thing the same way as girls saying "I want a man who treats me well" - as a beta-trait motif, to be executed after her hindbrain has decided he's attractive.

In my youth of youths, I went hard and directly after right-sider girls, thinking in my stupid beta ways that they'd appreciate and be attracted to me because I was eschewing the pool of middling to stupid women to pursue them. Of course it didn't work. I gathered that many smart women viewed "I like you because you're smart" as a sort of backhanded compliment, the same way a girl will call a guy "nice" when she can't think of anything attractive to note about him.

A blogger we know around here leaps out of her pants every time she gets a shred of anecdata that "men like intelligent women," to which I've noted several times that those guys are out there but the "smart girls" seem to line up for the jocks and frat guys just as much as all the others. It's the exact same conversation as the nice-guy dilemma. The overwhelming evidence is that women care more about dominance, status and emotional stimulation than about male intelligence or male appreciation for female intelligence.

There's another thing often conflated in the UMC set - there's a significant difference between having brainpower, living an "intellectual lifestyle" (which involves SWPL correlates like reading the Atlantic and "volunteering"), and actually using your brain on its off time by reading quality books, talking frankly about heady topics, and having other pursuits of the mind.

Also sad to me was to date a girl who liked that I was smart, but to figure out that she only appreciated it in a hypergamous way (she could brag it to her friends) - she wasn't interested in actually joining me in an intellectual life. I remember my relationship-boner taking a permanent nosedive the day she bought copies of People and US Weekly in a grocery store.

Props to someone around here who has noted that when a woman compliments another woman as "smart," she's usually talking about a certain kind of snarky, cynical meanness.

Finally, plenty of "smart" women want to shut their brains off outside of work, which explains why you CAN (and Roissy did) meet a lot of smart, accomplished women in bars. Turning your brain off is fine I guess, but they are using their intelligence like a pawn chip - they want to get value from it (get a guy to admire them for it) without actually having to utilize it for their partner's direct benefit.

Finally, I'd note that contrary to the hypothetical protestations of self-styled intelligent women, game works on smart girls, probably/possibly better than on dumb girls - it opens them up to an emotional world they don't often get the chance to experience with a man, and puts them in a position where they are NOT held accountable for something intellectual. The sort of comfort-building games that the PUAs perfected work really well on women who are hungry for cranial stimulation - "wow, that's so INTERESTING!" moreso than on chicks looking for their next free drink or line of blow.

van Rooinek said...

plenty of "smart" women want to shut their brains off outside of work

Yes, i've seen this. Back in gradschool, I once asked a female friend, a fellow chemistry-PhD candidate --

"Why do so many smart women, turn off their brains when they take off their lab coats? In the lab they're just as smart as men, but in their personal lives they blindly follow their emotions and make the stupid mistakes as ordinary women?"

Her answer was,

"We're perfectly capable of using our brains, but we just DON'T LIKE IT. So we think logically when we have to, but but we turn it off as soon as we can."

And this is someone who willingly entered (and succeeded in) a STEM PhD track, and was from a maniacally pro-education East Asian cultural background! Yet she regards logical thought as an unpleasant necessity of the job. How many more women, simply avoid STEM altogether for this reason?

Fortunately for her, she married well. Her Christian faith steered her toward good romantic choices in lieu of the logic she refused to use. [In other words, she married a grateful, nice, Christian white nerd.] Woe, woe unto the nonChristian woman.





Anonymous said...

"for the highly intelligent man, it doesn't much matter if she's got an IQ of 85 or 135, because it all looks pretty much the same to him."

You're exaggerating a bit here. A fifty point difference is huge, even from high above.

Anonymous said...

More interested in finding a mature man.

Adey said...

Put two women together that have IQ of 85 and 130, I guarantee you will see the difference.

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Unknown said...

Males become less and less enjoyable ymto deal with through the years generally. Disinterest can be written off as gay and lack of interest in their battle mindset makes you want to see them gone. And then theres a simple "Why?"? They're generally traumatic and annoying. In younger years I enjoyed relationships now know theyre a waste with conversational antics and ego expressions being their priority. Seriously not for me. I remain in a listener sort of stance because i attract a certain type/s repeatedly and cant seem to manipulate them how i woukd like, and they tend to show they don't care about my feelings and preferences and my confidences are trash to them. My honesty seems to cone off as unneeded, and my privacy also not a concern. Don't like them. I don't also enjoy relationships with females. I tend to be alone.

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