Many people will have likely had an inkling that some men can be intimidated by smart, successful, and all-around awesome women. But it turns out science has given us the proof that many men - despite claiming to fancy intelligent women - wouldn't actually date someone who could outsmart them.
Research by University of Texas and California Lutheran University shows that actually, the percentage of men who'd date a woman who scores higher than them in intelligence tests is preeeetty low.
As Fempositive reports, "even though 90 per cent of the participants said that they would be comfortable dating someone smarter than them, they were no longer interested in the women when the scores were brought into the picture."
So, although they said they were fine with being outsmarted by a potential date, they changed their mind when faced with the reality of actually dating a more intelligent woman. The research which has recently resurfaced online involved 105 men (admittedly, not that many - science has its limits people!) ranking women on how desirable they were as a partner after being told to imagine them either outsmarting or underperforming them in Maths and English.
As the Independent reported at the time, “men formed favourable impressions and showed greater interest in women who displayed more (versus less) intelligence than themselves.”
So yes, it turns out they said they were attracted to women smarter than them. However, when the were quizzed in more depth about whether they'd date these women IRL, researchers noticed:
“[Men faced in this real life scenario] distanced themselves more from her, tended to rate her as less attractive, and showed less desire to exchange contact information or plan a date with her”.
Never ones to jump to conclusions as to why this might be, let's let the researchers explain their theory:
“Feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them.”
In short? Fragile. Male. Egos.