Many movies and romance novels give the narrative that a smart and successful woman will beat out the pretty-with-no-brains chick any day of the week. After all, you’d think that the best method for how to attract men would be intelligence.
But depressingly, science is proving that wrong. A new study finds that many smart women end up being single — not by choice, but because men prefer less intelligent women.
All at once: GROAN.
The study, which surveyed 121 British participants, found that women with high intelligence in heterosexual relationships are viewed as “problematic.” Of course, the same trait in men was viewed as desirable. (Double standards, anyone?)
This, of course, is a blatantly sexist reminder that while we’ve come far, ladies, we’ve still got a long road ahead of us.
So, why would men prefer a woman who doesn’t have a lot going on upstairs?
“Successful men date less successful women not because they want ‘women to be dumb’ but rather because they want ‘someone who prioritizes their life in a way that’s compatible with how you prioritize yours,'” says financial reporter John Carter.
Basically, men don’t want a woman who will put her intellect to good use with an important job. They’d rather have a woman willing to be in the backseat.
What should these smart, single ladies do if they don’t want to stay single for the rest of their lives? Settle for a man who’s less educated, of course. It’s not a very romantic way for how to attract men when it’s put this way, but that’s what ambitious women like Linda Hirshman, author of Get to Work, advise.
“If you are devoted to your career goals and would like a man who will support that, you’re just doing what men throughout the ages have done: placing a safe bet,” Hirshman says.
Surprisingly, it looks like women are taking this advice. According to Pew Research Center, 21 percent of married women had a spouse who was less educated than them in 2012.
If settling for a man with less educational background concerns you because you’re uncertain how much bacon he’ll be bringing in, you don’t have much to worry about. Due to the wage gap, many men with less education make more dough than more educated women.
Remember, I did say we have a long road ahead of us.
We totally understand that the notion of women settling is well… unsettling, to say the least.
But try to think of it as a compromise that allows you to have all you’ve dreamed of.
In fact, you may even be surprised what men you find when you’re not so hellbent on following a checklist of what your perfect guy should be.
Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer. Follow her on Twitter.