More physically attractive women tend to have more intelligent husbands

Cross-trait assortative mating for the traits of physical attractiveness and intelligence.


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Physical characteristics, such as height, play an important role in human mate preferences. Satisfaction with one’s own height and one’s partner height seem likely to be related to these preferences.

A new study suggests that women are also less attracted to men who are less intelligent.

Scientists examined data collected from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a long-term study which has tracked about 10,000 men and women from 1957 to 2011. They found that a woman’s physical attractiveness predicted her husband’s intelligence. In other words, more physically attractive women tended to have more intelligent husbands.

Also, physical attractiveness was considerably more firmly connected with a husband’s intelligence among ladies who were more intelligent.

A man’s physical allure, then again, did not foresee the knowledge of his significant other.

Study author Curtis S. Dunkel of Western Illinois University said, “The co-authors and I each have a general interest in Evolutionary Psychology. Given this interest we are also interested in mating; especially how males and females may look for different characteristics in a mate.”

“The results of the study suggest that intelligence may be slightly more important to women when choosing a long-term mate. More specifically, a woman may look for a man who is slightly more intelligent than she is and she uses her physical attractiveness to secure a more intelligent husband.”

“Most importantly the effect size was very small, meaning there was a large overlap between the groups of men and women.”

“It is also important to keep in mind that the sample was made up of US Midwesterners born in the mid-20th century.”

“We would also predict that more intelligent men would secure more physically attractive mates and that this would not hold for women, but we were unable to test this hypothesis.”

The findings appear in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.