Study Shows Men Find "Dumb" Women More Attractive

Gena Kaufman,Glamour magazine

To be clear, they find "dumb" women attractive because they think they can get more sex out of them, not because they want to date them. Uh, excuse me while I throw some confetti?

According to Slate Magazine, a new study will soon be published, and it has a premise I found rather disturbing: testing the idea that indication that a woman is "sexually exploitable" is a turn-on for the average guy. The assumption is that female brains are still programmed to fear the pregnancy related consequences that come with uncommitted sex (probably because using birth control makes you a slut), which means women are more reluctant to have sex and therefore must be convinced/exploited. Huh.

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To determine what cues indicated a woman's receptivity or vulnerability, a large group of both male and female students were surveyed. Based on this, the researchers came up with a list of 88 traits including: lip licking or biting, over the shoulder looks, looking sleepy or intoxicated, wearing tight clothing, and being fat, short, unintelligent (which apparently can be seen in looks, I guess?). After that, men were asked to evaluate pictures of women that supposedly exhibited those qualities for attractiveness, ability to "exploit" and appeal as a long- or short-term partner.

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In one reasonable result, physical cues--like being short or overweight--did not affect whether or not men thought the women were more exploitable. A result that was pretty horrifying: Men rated unintelligent, sleepy and intoxicated women as being easy to bed AND more physically attractive than lucid women, although not for long-term relationships. A follow up study concluded that men who are more promiscuity-minded and with less personal empathy and warmth were more likely to be responsive to the exploitability clues.

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Does anyone else just feel icky about this? I'm sure the researchers have valid academic reasons for studying this, but the premise that women have to be tricked into sex, the traits that both men and women think indicate vulnerability, and the idea of asking men to rate women based on this just skeeves me out generally. Not to mention that it seems like a dangerously slippery slope down a path towards a "Well, she licked her lips/looked dumb/was tired, so clearly she was asking for it" type of reasoning.

Blerg. I need a three day weekend.

What do you guys think of this study? I'm sure you're not disappointed that men who lack empathy might not want to sleep with you because you're smart, but still. Isn't it disturbing?

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