All the attention that the pop culture term sapiosexual receives has proven that we think brains are hot. After all, looks may fade with time, but intellectuals love to keep learning new things throughout their lives. Which is excellent news for those who find intelligence sexy because it means our partners will just keep getting hotter as time goes on.
Recently the scientific journal Intelligence published a study that proves that some people are sexually attracted to intelligent people. Gilles E.Gignac, a senior lecturer at the School of Psychological Science at The University of Western Australia, led this study, which included 383 students.
The study included a questionnaire and a preference scale to determine the level of sexual attraction (or lack thereof) to intelligent people. The study’s results showed that most of the students who were involved, found intelligence to be a desirable trait in a partner, and a smaller percentage found that they were more sexually attracted to intelligent people.
The top trait people looked for in a partner was kindness and understanding, with intelligence coming in second place.
“A lot of research had shown that ‘intelligent’ was a highly ranked characteristic in a partner, but I had my doubts that people preferred a very high level of intelligence in a partner,” Gilles Gignac told PsyPost.
“Because much the previous research in the area had used rank measurement, it was impossible to tell what level of intelligence people, on average, preferred,” he said. “A different type of study needed to be conducted to find out.”
“A second part of the study was relevant to the word ‘sapiosexual,’ a person who finds high levels of intelligence the most sexually attractive characteristic in a partner,” Gignac explained.
“The word sapiosexual had been used in popular culture but had not yet been investigated scientifically. Consequently, I wondered whether sapiosexuality could be measured with a conventional psychometric scale and how many self-described sapiosexuals there might be in the population.”
During the research which included people from various levels of intellect, they discovered that those with a higher level of intelligence were found to be more attractive, but only to a certain point. However, this study did not include people who had below average levels of intelligence.
Those who were smarter than 90% of the population were found to be the most attractive. However, someone who was smarter than 99% of the population was less appealing.
“We found that the association between the desirability of a prospective partner and IQ of the prospective partner is curvilinear: it peaks at an IQ of 120 (90th percentile) and drops a bit from 120 to 135 (99th percentile),” Gignac said.
The Sapiosexuality Questionnaire can be found here towards the bottom of the study. It asked those who were surveyed how much they agreed or disagreed with ten different statements.
Starting with: “A physically attractive person with only average intelligence is a turn off for me” and ending with the 10th and final statement, “A very high level of intelligence in a partner is necessary for me to be attracted to them sexually.”
“We found that sapiosexuality can be measured psychometrically and that between 1% and 8% of relatively young people (18 to 35) may be sapiosexuals. However, interestingly, how intelligent a person is (measured with an actual IQ test) does not appear to predict the degree to which people identify themselves as a sapiosexual,” Gignac explained.
In the conclusion this study states that “the perception of high levels of intelligence in another person is so substantial that it may induce sexual arousal, more so than any other attribute” which means that sapiosexuality is more than just a pop culture trend, but is a real and desirable trait that we seek out in our partners.
Based on the results of this study, intelligence plays a huge role in human evolution. When we are attracted to smart people, those genes pass on to our children, then on to their children and so forth. Each generation builds more modern advances based on the foundation set from those before them. After all, if you look back over the last 100 years, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in such a relatively short amount of time.
How many of our readers consider themselves to be a sapiosexual? Does intelligence in a partner turn you on or do you find other traits to be more desirable? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this study in the comments below.
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About the Author: Bethany Vincent is a writer from La Grange Kentucky who has loved playing with words since she first learned to speak. She lives with her teenage son and adopted dog daughter in a cute, yellow house with a picket fence. During college at the University of Louisville, she could be found at the writing center most of the time, and her main areas of focus were literature, creative writing, and visual arts. Bethany has contributed articles and created content for many websites and blogs during her writing career. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, juggle-dancing, yoga, photography, cooking and singing along with her favorite songs while in the car driving. In the future, she plans to finish writing her first book and hopes to travel to all the beautiful places that she’s read about.