Despite always saying they want to date smart women, scientists decided to see if that was the case in a study. The results suggest that they are actually intimidated by smart women and that they threaten some men's masculinity.
The study suggests that men think they want a girl that is smarter than them, up until the point they might actually have to date one.
Men in the study were told imaginary scenarios about women who had performed better or worse on intelligence tests. Then they asked them to consider the possibility of dating each one.
Men in the study claimed to find the smarter women more attractive, and showed greater interests in them.
But when it was time to pick which one to date, they backed out.
Men were asked to rank the women they'd actually date.
And they chose..the ones that had performed worse in intelligence tests first.
According to the study, men experienced "feelings of diminished masculinity" which "accounted for their decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them."
In other words, men prefer if they were the smarter ones in the relationship.
Lead researcher Lora Park elaborated on the results to Mic:
“[The men] are attracted to women who are smarter than them when she is psychologically distant. Men show less attraction to a woman when she is psychologically near and outperforms him in the intellectual domain. Some preliminary evidence suggested that this was due to men feeling more threatened — in terms of feeling less masculine — after the woman outsmarted them when she was closer to him.”