Smart Girls Finish Last

31 Mar


courtesy of

courtesy of

Here’s an excerpt from an old Freakonomics podcast Can You Be Too Smart for Your Own Good? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions.

DUBNER:  […]Do you think women are penalized more for being smart or smarter than their peers than men are, and if so, on what dimensions?

LEVITT: Certainly in the marriage market, in the dating market, smart women don’t get rewarded in any way like smart men get rewarded. I think we wrote a little bit about it in Freakonomics, didn’t we, about the dating? And smart men who had a lot of education did quite well, but women who had a lot of education did poorly.

DUBNER: It was hard to tease out the education for women and the income, because both of them were turnoffs for the other men, right?

LEVITT: If you go back to the 1960s and you look at the marriage rate of highly educated women, it was really low. It was shockingly low. That they were…Of all the people in society least likely to be married, it was women who went and got Ph.D.’s. So I think women really do pay the price for, at least historically have paid the price for being too smart and too successful. Although I think that’s…Certainly the data suggests that that’s changing. And that’s my feeling as well that there’s a lot more room for smart women in society today than there was.

So I’ve always expected this to be true. Many men claim to desire a woman with intelligence but do they really mean that? I mean really? What guy is going to publicly list stupidity as an desirable trait for a companion? The man of my last romantic entanglement clearly stated that he appreciated my intelligence however frowned upon the follow-up questions I’d pose when we conversed. I didn’t know there was rule against attempts to gain clarity.

Do smart women really need to dumb it down to date?





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