Why So Many Men Are Threatened By Smart And Successful Women In The Dating World

According To Research

Thought Catalog

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Ozan Çulha

In the fifth annual study on American singles funded by Match.com, anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher surveyed 5,600 single people and pointed to a “Clooney Effect” of men who expressed interest in marrying an independent and successful woman; in fact, 87% of men claimed they wanted to date a woman who out-earned them, was more educated than them, and was more intelligent. However, this expressed interest often differs from the real-life actions of men toward smart and successful women in the dating world. While there are certainly men who genuinely support their smart and ambitious partners, it’s no secret that smart and successful women tend to frequently run into insecure men in the dating world who are envious of their success. In many studies, researchers have found something astounding: while men generally claim they admire intelligent and successful women, they are actually more threatened by these women when they encounter them in real life. This is not to say that women should ever dial down their intelligence to gain the approval of men; on the contrary, learning about this research can help you to be more aware of and identify which potential mates actually “walk the talk” when it comes to supporting your ambition and intelligence.

Researchers Lola Park and colleagues (2015) conducted six studies to determine whether men exhibited attraction to women who outsmarted them on verbal and math tests. The majority of men in one of the studies expressed a preference for the women who outsmarted them when these women were spoken about as a hypothetical scenario. However, when men actually took the test near a woman sitting next to them in real life and was told she had scored higher than him, he was less likely to express romantic interest to this woman and shift his chair to create more physical distance from her. When a woman was said to have scored lower than a man, he was more likely to bring his seat closer to her and express romantic interest.

Some Men Love Intelligent Women in Theory — But Not in Real Life

In another one of these studies, men were told about a hypothetical woman down the hall they never met who outperformed them…

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