Intelligent women more attractive say surveys, local men

By Alex Galbraith |

Ladies, if you’re looking to snag a mate forget about the cookbooks and pick up a textbook.

The idea that an educated woman has a hard time finding a potential life-partner, that men will find her intelligence threatening, is no more according to recent sociological surveys.

In fact, intelligence has risen to the 4th most-desirable trait that a man looks for while scoping out a spouse, according to a 2008 survey by sociologist Christine Whelan of the University of Pittsburgh.

And local men couldn’t agree more.

“Intelligence is sexy, end of story,” said Weston Funcheon of St. Augustine. “The only ‘threat’ I would feel from an educated woman is that she might leave me for a smarter man.”

According to an article in the New York Times, educated women also have more stable relationships, making them much more likely to remain married once they tie the knot than their less educated friends.

“It makes sense that educated women are sticking with their men,” said Luis Lopez from Jacksonville. “You form a much deeper connection with a partner you can talk to, you know? Give me a woman who can make me think and make me laugh, the rest will fall into place.”

These opinions highlight a major shift from the American post-war male’s way of thinking. In 1956, men ranked housekeeping abilities and a sunny disposition far ahead of intelligence and education (which they ranked 11th out of 18 possible criteria). But today’s men seem to scoff at the idea.

“I mean, being able to cook and clean is nice, I guess,” Funcheon said. “But I’d consider it more of a bonus than a requirement.”
Meanwhile, local women have reacted to the surveys with a unanimous “Well, duh!”

“Communication is key in every relationship and it is easier to communicate with someone who shares a similar level of education with you,” said St. Johns River State College student Caroline Segura. “Obviously, differing levels of education will create a communication barrier that will weigh on the relationship.”

A local sociologist seconded Segura’s opinion

“When you enter into a marriage, you’re basically saying ‘I’m going to do everything to care for and love the other’s physical, emotional and spiritual health’ so that person could be the best they could be,” said Stephen Derrig, a visiting sociology instructor at Flagler College. “That requires communication and that might comport to desiring someone with a similar level of education.”

Local artist Julie Beliveau is more practical, saying that men aren’t looking for a homemaker when it takes the salaries of both partners to keep their home.

“These days, you just need two incomes to keep a roof over your head,” said Belliveau. “The financial strain of relying on one partner to pay for everything would cause unnecessary stress on the relationship.”

And education can help women not ready to settle down as well. College-educated white women were shown to live longer, healthier lives in a 2002 study.
Once settled, educated women have more fun in the bedroom, regardless of their partner’s education level. University of Washington sexuality researchers Pepper Schwartz and Virginia Rutter said that women with degrees are more likely to give as well as receive oral sex, use a greater variety of positions and achieve orgasm regularly.

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