Intercourse and Intelligence

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Tyler Cowen quotes from a new study testing the relationship between grades and delayed sexual activity.

Last December I passed a paper along to Razib showing that high-school age adolescents with higher IQs and extremely low IQs were less likely to have had first intercourse than those with average to below average intelligence. (i.e. for males with IQs under 70, 63.3% were still virgins, for those with IQs between 70-90 only 50.2% were virgin, 58.6% were virgins with IQs between 90-110, and 70.3% with IQs over 110 were virgins)

In fact, a more detailed study from 2000 is devoted strictly to this topic, and finds the same thing: Smart Teens Don’t Have Sex (or Kiss Much Either).

The team looked at 1000s of representative teens grades 7-12 in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and The Biosocial Factors in Adolescent Development datasets, both of which include an IQ test, and include detailed sexual experience questions ranging from hand-holding to intercourse. As with the other study there was a curvilinear relationship: students with IQs above 100 and below 70 were significantly less likely to have had intercourse than those in between. Also like the other study, they found teens with IQs ranging from 75 to 90 had the lowest probability of virginity (the authors note this is also the same IQ range where propensity towards crime peaks).

Depending on the specific age and gender, an adolescent with an IQ of 100 was 1.5 to 5 times more likely to have had intercourse than a teen with a score of 120 or 130. Each additional point of IQ increased the odds of virginity by 2.7% for males and 1.7% for females. But higher IQ had a similar relationship across the entire range of romantic/sexual interactions, decreasing the odds that teens had ever kissed or even held hands with a member of the opposite sex at each age.

While these authors leave off at grade 12th, it would seem plausible to expect that this relationship extends beyond high school. To explore this, plenty of interesting facts come from a 2001 campus sex survey by the joint MIT/Wellesley college magazine Counterpoint (PDF). Looking within and between colleges, IQ appears to delay sexual activity on into young adulthood.

By the age of 19, 80% of US males and 75% of women have lost their virginity, and 87% of college students have had sex. But this number appears to be much lower at elite (i.e. more intelligent) colleges. According to the article, only 56% of Princeton undergraduates have had intercourse. At Harvard 59% of the undergraduates are non-virgins, and at MIT, only a slight majority, 51%, have had intercourse. Further, only 65% of MIT graduate students have had sex.

The student surveys at MIT and Wellesley also compared virginity by academic major. The chart for Wellesley displayed below shows that 0% of studio art majors were virgins, but 72% of biology majors were virgins, and 83% of biochem and math majors were virgins! Similarly, at MIT 20% of ‘humanities’ majors were virgins, but 73% of biology majors. (Apparently those most likely to read Darwin are also the least Darwinian!)

Looking at this chart it would strongly appear that higher complexity majors contain more virgins than majors with lower cognitive demand. This paper provides me with GRE scores by academic discipline, and, in fact, the correlation between the percentage of virgins in each Wellesley major and the average ‘Analytical’ GRE score associated with the discipline is 0.60.

One reason we might guess that smarter people in high school, or in more challenging colleges or majors, delay their sexual debuts is because they are delaying gratification in expectation of future reward. Sexual behavior (or at least the investment needed to procure a partner or sustain one) may compete with time/resources required for other goals, and intelligent people may have more demanding goals. James Watson even hinted at this in a recent Esquire magazine piece:

If I had been married earlier in life, I wouldn’t have seen the double helix. I would have been taking care of the kids on Saturday. On the other hand, I was lonely a lot of the time.

While sex may not be marriage, it may still require effort that intelligent people prefer to invest elsewhere. This would fit Aldus Huxley’s alleged definition of an intellectual as a person who’s found one thing that’s more interesting than sex.

Another idea is that smarter people are more risk averse, and delaying these activities is a byproduct of enhanced concerns about unwanted pregnancy and disease. While not avoiding sexual behaviors, per se, they are just less likely to seek it out or consent to it for fear of the potential consequences.

Another idea is that smarter people are more religious or more ethically conservative, and are trying harder to wait for marriage to have sex.

Another idea, consistent with popular media portrayals of geeks and nerds (males at least), is that intelligent people actually want to have sex, but are simply less likely or unable to obtain willing partners because they are disproportionately viewed as unattractive or undesirable as partners.

Another idea is that intelligent people have lower general sex drives. This shouldn’t be confused with the first theory, where their sex drives would be normal and they have greater self-restraint.

Some insightful digging by blogger Half Sigma into the General Social Survey, which also includes an abbreviated intelligence test, has turned up a number of associations that speak to these theories. The relationship between sexual activity and intelligence found across adolescence and young adulthood appears to continue on into adulthood proper.

Not only do intelligent people have a delayed onset of sexual behavior, Half Sigma found that they also have a lower number of premarital sex partners throughout adulthood (18-39). While this is consistent with the above theory that high IQ people are more religious and conservative, this is, of course, not true. Religiousness correlates with lower IQ, and as HS shows in the same post, intelligent people were also more likely to say that premarital sex was not immoral. (Leaving those who did think it was immoral to participate in the bulk of it!) Most of the other theories are still consistent with this finding though.

Perhaps more revealing, HS, also showed that intelligence correlates with less sex within marriage for the same age range. While still consistent with pregnancy fears and competing interests, lower sex drive seems like a better fit. In fact another revealing finding from the Counterpoint survey was that while 95% of US men and 70% of women masturbate, this number is only 68% of men and 20% of women at MIT!

Also the idea that more intelligent people are too busy for the opposite sex not just in 7th grade to college, but throughout adulthood and for their own spouse, seems unrealistic. In fact the GSS also shows (PDF) that smarter people spend more time socializing with their friends, indicating their hours aren’t spent as uniquely isolated and narrowly channeled as the theory would require.

But lower sex drive and anxiety about sex’s consequences can’t be the whole story either. Half Sigma also showed that the smartest men in the GSS (approx. IQ >120) were also more likely to visit a prostitute. (Hardly indicative of cautiousness) This may suggest intelligent men are less able to find willing sex partners. Are smart men less attractive to women? Perhaps in some ways. For instance HS found that smart men were less likely to be athletic, and this paper shows, unathletic men and women have fewer sex partners. Athletic men, with more willing sexual partners are also less likely to visit a prostitute. Athletic activity gives men more masculine bodies, which are more attractive to women. A more masculine physique correlates with (PDF) an increased number of sex partners.

So intelligent people have lower libidos and less masculine physiques. What hormone is responsible for both sex drive and masculine builds? That’s right: testosterone.

And two new papers suggest that testosterone may depress IQ. One team found that salivary testosterone levels were lower for preadolescent boys with IQs above 130 and below 70. (the same two groups most likely to be virgins in adolescence)

Another paper suggests that a gene responsible for androgen sensitivity and higher sperm counts may also create a tradeoff for intelligence.

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99 Comments

  1. So many unwanted memories. Hossanahs to the Markoviks, Pabans, Masons and Cooks who are fixing the situation for those of us the right-hand side of the curve. 
     
    LOL. It just occurred to me: The process of transforming oneself from uber-geek to suave, intelligent player is not much different from “delaying gratification in expectation of [massive] future reward.” That’s why all but the most committed fail… especially since uber-geeks like to think they’re smart in *everything* they do and are unwilling to learn from the bone-heads who can’t do vector calculus, read Sanskrit/Latin/Homeric Greek, or set up a corporation… but can inexplicably get a girl spiralling upward in sexual tension without putting in any effort.

  2. Perhaps this partly explains the likes of Richard Lewontin; wasn’t his response to sociobiology something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t want to have sex with lots of young women”?

  3. Seems to me that this counts against Miller’s intelligence as good genes signal theory. 
     
    As for the percent at MIT who don’t masturbate, I find that hard to believe. Maybe they’re more likely to be lying.

  4. Elevated Testosterone Kills Brain Cells: 
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=52813

  5. The % of virgins by major chart has some oddities. One would expect computer science and neuroscience to be at the math/chemistry end of the spectrum. Instead, they are nearer to art and anthropology.

  6. Countervailing the negative correlation between religosity and IQ: the paper says that more intelligent adolescents “report higher religious attendance”. Perhaps they go to church more often, but are less serious about religion. Or perhaps there’s just a disjunction between adolescent religiosity and adult religiosity (which I assume was what was studied in the GSS).

  7. Oh, the relatively low virginity rate among Wellesley neuroscience majors and MIT BCS majors doesn’t surprise me. Neuroscientists are keenly aware that human sexual behavior is just another domain of animal behavior; there’s little moralizing or squeamishness about sex. Also, neuroscientists like to use psychoactive drugs (self-experimentation), which correlates with sexual activity.

  8. Apparently being at the *left* tail of the bell curve doesn’t have to hurt you either. 
     
    Careful — not for the squeamish…. 
     
    http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0707,altman,75787,15.html 
     
    AJ

  9. Perhaps they go to church more often, but are less serious about religion.  
     
    there is often some correlation between participation in institutional religion and higher SES.

  10. I’ve already made myself the archetypical example of this subject here, so I might as well see what theories match in my case. 
     
    Age: 20 
     
    College: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, College of Engineering 
     
    Major: Computer Science 
     
    Experience: You name it, I haven’t done it 
     
    IQ: I don’t know. I got a 1460 out of 1600 on the SAT (which I only took once, being a midwesterner, in order to receive a national merit scholarship), the first time I took the ACT I scored 32 out of 36, the second time I got a 34. I don’t know what my sub-scores were. 
     
    Future time orientation: I would say high. I’ve never been impulsive, and if I am confident that an event I would like to happen will occur by a certain point in time, I’ll be fine until then and won’t get anxious. 
     
    Believe (however erroneously) I’ve got better things to do: Absolutely. With sites like Gene Expression, Overcoming Bias and Wikipedia life is good. 
     
    Risk aversion: Yes. Back when I played computer games (one of the many activities I now feel I have better things to do than) I would compulsively save, avoid using easily replenishable resources, take the long and boring way rather than the short fun and dangerous way and more often than I should have used walkthroughs before I even encountered problems. There I’m not even risking anything real, but that’s just the way I am. I’m also extremely cheap. Perhaps I have a very high Endowment Effect. 
     
    Religiosity and conservativeness: I was never spiritual, but it wasn’t long ago that I was puritanically religious. It felt good believing I was so much better than other people with immoral behavior and less self control. I don’t believe in God anymore, but my basic attitudes are still the same, only now I decide for myself what I subjectively believe to be “good”, which makes me all the closer to perfection! 
     
    Inability to find partners: Not currently a factor, but in a counter-factual in which other factors were changed, it could be. The issue of finding “a” partner I imagine is not too difficult, finding a satisfactory partner is another matter. Given the smug (and unlikable) sense of superiority I referred to above, this would exclude a lot of people. I have heard from old classmates that there were some girls that had crushes on me who were not (as far as I can tell, although I’m hardly an authority) noticeably sub-par in what the Danimal would call the marketplace. I suspect this might be due to them not knowing me very well except as being smart and funny. 
     
    Low libido: Absolutely. I find the way many people seem to lose their heads and do idiotic things when their brain cedes control to their genitals perplexing. I don’t know if there is a real difference, but I could also just be densensitized to the signals my body sends to my brain. I’m often unaware of what’s going on around me (including being rained on and not realizing until another person on the track team mentioned the rain) and the other basic drive (hunger) is barely perceptible. If I lose track of time I often forget to eat and won’t notice until I see a clock. 
     
    Less time socializing: Certainly. I dislike chit-chat and care little for my status among other people. If need be I can socialize rather well (though I have long preferred to do so with adults rather than my peers), but I would never seek out socializing. 
     
    Unathletic: Yes. I haven’t done anything athletic for quite a while. I’m not horribly unfit, but given my poor diet and lack of exercise I ought to be. In high school gym class when the state was doing testing to see what standards kids were at in various measures (hundred meter dash, mile run, pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups) I was often near the top and other students sometimes remarked that what I had done was impressive. Part of this may be due to my being curious about what my limit was whereas other students may have found it a hassle and unpleasant to exert themselves too much. In a real competition I would expect to perform poorly against anyone with a real interest in that kind of competition. 
     
    Unattractiveness: Yes. Since I am not currently looking for a job and have no plans to seek a girlfriend, I care not a whit for my appearance. The only positive thing I can say is that I’m not overweight (I could actually stand to gain a few pounds) and I haven’t been afflicted with some malady like acne. 
     
    Testosterone: I haven’t tested my saliva or anything, but some of the above details as well as the late onset and slow growth of facial hair suggests it is rather low.

  11. To TGGP, a question if you don’t mind: you say you’re funny, can socialize well if you feel like it, – I take this to mean you can joke around easily, quickly come up with conversation, etc. Were you always able to do this, or was it a skill that you consciously developed?

  12. Testosterone: I haven’t tested my saliva or anything, but some of the above details as well as the late onset and slow growth of facial hair suggests it is rather low. 
     
    Check your digit ratio. It’s a quick-and-dirty T-test.  
     
    If the factors of testosterone, sex-drive, athleticism, attractiveness, and intelligence all converge on a common nexus, we should expect to see a similar curvilinear relationship with digit ratio.

  13. I remember reading a couple of papers by Uner Tan who found a positive correlation between IQ and testosterone in successful men. He might have also found a correlation for men in general. The papers are the first two hits when googling [testosterone iq]. 
     
    The socially inept geek sounds like a good explanation to me. My fellow grad students in a physics program at a very good university don’t know how to deal with chicks. Virgins are probably a slight majority.  
     
    My course performance is average but my general GRE scores 1540/1600 are probably among the highest in the program. I was a high T teenager and was once accused of taking steroids by my doctor. I finally ran the bases a couple of weeks shy of my 15th birthday but I had made it to 3rd by 13. My natural inclination is to be dominant in my dealings with others, something I have learned to control so as to not seem dickish to my peers and professors.

  14. I would like to propose two ideas. I doubt either are new or very original. 
     
    1) In the r-K reproductive scale, smarter people are more K selected, leading to lower sexual urges, and later maturation rates. Of course, what I state here is almost tautological, but at least, it is an evolutionary explanation. 
     
    2) Assortative mating, there is a correlation between IQ of partners. People at both ends of the spectrum will have a harder time finding mates.

  15. Hmmm, Wellesley’s Computer Science dep’t must be shit.

  16. What is the actual reproductive success of those in the IQ range of 85-105 or whatever? 
     
    While having sex as frequently as rabbits might be satisfying to some people, does it translate into producing offspring that survive to reproduce themselves, and for how many generations? 
     
    I would suggest that those individuals who are capable of delating gratification are more likely to see their genes survive for many, many generations.

  17. Not only do intelligent people have a delayed onset of sexual behavior, Half Sigma found that they also have a lower number of premarital sex partners throughout adulthood (18-39). 
     
    Damn, that’s a lot of sex partners for a relatively celibate group! (jk) 
     
    Each additional point of IQ increased the odds of virginity by 2.7% for males and 1.7% for females. 
     
    The chart right above this statement shows that the male line is at or above the female line across all IQ levels (i.e., males were more likely to have had sex), so should these numbers be reversed? 
     
    In any case, it’s pretty hard to become homeless in a modernized society — you’re likely either seriously mentally disturbed and/or hopelessly addicted to drugs. If you can’t scrape by on your own, welfare programs will ensure that your basic needs are met. And women are free to earn their own living. Thus, higher IQ has lost its core appeal — “You may not think I’m the hottest or most exciting guy around, but at least you won’t starve.” This is a pretty recent development, so we shouldn’t read this pattern backward into history. 
     
    There would seem to be little sense in insisting on having a smart guy as a boyfriend or husband if his contribution had already been taken care of by other means. So why not focus on humor, personality, athleticism, good looks, etc.? I know that if my basic needs concerning sex with hot girls were already met, I’d shift my preferences to emphasize intelligence, similar interests, etc., when looking at girls. 
     
    Another thing is that high IQ probably isn’t sexy per se, as females are more concerned with status / wealth. Girls only care about smarts insofar as they qualify you to be a partner at a prestigious law firm, not out of some intrinsic sexiness. As there are far more people above an IQ of 125-130 than there are open slots for CEOs of huge corporations, etc., having a high IQ is now a high-risk / high-reward strategy. Most smarties will be viewed as boring nerds; only those who are also tall, or athletic, or good-looking will buck the trend. 
     
    Assortative mating can’t account for why smarties and dummies are less likely to have ever had sex, which is what the data are based on. It might somewhat explain the lower number of total partners — if a 100 IQ guy sleeps with 1% of females of similar IQ, he’ll end up sleeping with more than would a 130 IQ guy who slept with 1% of females of similar IQ. So you’re right to point out that the “lower number of partners” among smarties & dummies could just be an artifact of sorting. 
     
    But like-socializing-with-like should increase the odds of smarties & dummies getting laid: they no longer have to search far and wide for someone of similar IQ (e.g., smart people go to college).

  18. In a contraceptive age, sex is not equal to reproductive success. I know guys who have had >2000 sexual partners but not a single child. Conversely, I know happily married couples who have only had sex with each other but are raising many children. 
     
    It may be that the smarties are having reproductive success (in the evolutionary, biological sense) disproportionate to the number of sexual acts/partners. 
     
    Still, in an absolute sense, dysgenesis in the modern setting is an incontrovertible fact.

  19. Oh, the relatively low virginity rate among Wellesley neuroscience majors and MIT BCS majors doesn’t surprise me. Neuroscientists are keenly aware that human sexual behavior is just another domain of animal behavior; there’s little moralizing or squeamishness about sex. Also, neuroscientists like to use psychoactive drugs (self-experimentation), which correlates with sexual activity. 
     
    I am kind of interested in neuroscience, and certainly have no moralizing or squeamishness about sex. I would say I am at least 1 SD below the population mean on the variable “sex is dirty and strikes me as somehow wrong”. That does NOTHING to help me get it. And neither does the fact that I think everyone has the right to experiment with psychoactive drugs.

  20. And to those of you who try to explain it by “smarter people WANT sex less” or “smarter people only want people of their same IQ to have sex with”, I have to laugh at that. Even if these effects were at play, I think they would pale in comparison to the difficulty of finding a willing partner. 
     
    And “delayed gratification”? Since when is not being able to get laid a sign of delayed gratification? I sense a lot of you guys, as much as you hate religious morality, are fishing for reasons to consider not getting attention from girls a virtue.

  21. When that MIT/Wellesley Counterpoint survey came out, I had recently graduated from MIT and was still around campus working as a research assistant. To put it bluntly, most everyone I knew considered that article rather funny… (And Counterpoint is often looked at as an unintentional humor publication…)  
     
    First off… two words: sample size.  
    More specifically… it said that at one of the dorms at MIT there was a 100% rate of virginity. I knew people who could vouch otherwise. Going back to sample size, it turns out the survey had only been taken by 4 freshmen at that dorm.  
     
    Secondly, the wording on many of the survey questions was apparently vague and open to interpretation. 
     
    Lastly, it’s also good to keep in mind that students at MIT often find it amusing to deliberately mess up statistics, particularly if it’s for a campus publication.

  22. tc: Your question is about the past, so my memory might be hazy, but I have been told I was a “late-talker” as a child. I wasn’t talkative for a while, and when that first began to change it was among adults. I didn’t care much about what people my age had to say. They knew little and mattered little. I wouldn’t consider any of this to be a conscious development. One perk I do enjoy from infrequent conversation and long periods of thought is that I’ve usually stored up a number of interesting things to say that supplement on-the-spot ideas enough to stave off awkward silences. 
     
    Tex: On my left (dominant) hand I can’t detect much difference in length between my index and ring finger. On my right the ring finger is right between the index and middle in length.

  23. I think that the > 145 types are just perceived as wierd and boring and geeky to the 100- 115 types. I have also encountered them ( < 115) finding some astonishingly bright people as dumb… I think the reason is that for these two groups their CPU’s just process information very differently. So for a 105 Iq hottie, the guy w iq 145 is just plain dumb coz the day to day social interactions of modern life 105 to 125 is asset, beyond that is increasing levels of social misfitdom. With high IQ women, it is evn worse, How many guys w iq 105 do you know who would feel comfortable w IQ 145 women. 
     
    And clearly in modern day western society, there is no economic advantage to a very high iq.

  24. > How many guys w iq 105 do you know who would feel comfortable w IQ 145 women. 
     
    I don’t have exact stats, but I do know that all the women in the high school gifted program that I attended who *wanted* to be married, are married. There are some who’ve deliberately sacrificed family for career, but that was a choice they made. Contrariwise, one of them is a stay-at-home mom. 
     
    The men they’re married to are, almost without exception, less intelligent than they are, though they are by no means dumb (they all have university degrees). These couples are all more or less happy. 
     
    As for high intelligence being a non-asset…. I recall somewhere that intelligence is correlated with income (and hence success in our society) up to a certain threshold. After that point there is no correlation. Here, other factors such as drive, ambition, charisma, etc, become more important. 
     
    Re: normies finding gifties dumb. Social awkwardness can mask intelligence. If you’re a brilliant student of Elvish who doesn’t know how to properly handle small talk with strangers, said strangers may think you’re dumb. But social awkwardness isn’t really a symptom of high IQ; it’s a symptom of *introversion*. I suspect the example you cite was of a superbright fellow who was *also* an introvert. 
     
    This brings up something I hadn’t thought of in a long time. In high school, the team that consistently won the intramural rugby championship was a team of gifted students who called themselves “The Math Team”. About a quarter of them actually *were* on the math team, lol. The coach of said rugby team dated the (superhot) head cheerleader…. and ended up marrying her.

  25. > The coach of said rugby team dated the (superhot) head cheerleader…. and ended up marrying her. 
     
    LOL. Lest the moral police come after me, I should point out that I meant to say “captain”.

  26. TGGP said: 
    Risk aversion: Yes. Back when I played computer games (one of the many activities I now feel I have better things to do than) I would compulsively save, avoid using easily replenishable resources, take the long and boring way rather than the short fun and dangerous way and more often than I should have used walkthroughs before I even encountered problems. There I’m not even risking anything real, but that’s just the way I am. I’m also extremely cheap. Perhaps I have a very high Endowment Effect. 
     
    LOL: I do the same. When I play FPS games like AvP, AvP2 or Doom I compulsively restart if I waste extra bullets or medpacks.

  27. AJ Said: 
     
    I don’t have exact stats, but I do know that all the women in the high school gifted program that I attended who *wanted* to be married, are married. There are some who’ve deliberately sacrificed family for career, but that was a choice they made. Contrariwise, one of them is a stay-at-home mom. 
    ——————- 
     
    Er.. wasnt there a study a few years back that High IQ men were more likely to get married than High IQ women?

  28. agnostic said 
    Another thing is that high IQ probably isn’t sexy per se, as females are more concerned with status / wealth. Girls only care about smarts insofar as they qualify you to be a partner at a prestigious law firm, not out of some intrinsic sexiness.  
    ———————- 
     
    True for players. Boy, you hang out with the wrong crowd.

  29. > Er.. wasnt there a study a few years back that High IQ men were more likely to get married than High IQ women? 
     
    Yup. See my comment re: the unmarried high-IQ women sacrificing family for career. Of the women in my class, I would guess that 30-40% were unmarried 10 years post-graduation. Moreover, a relatively high percentage of the marrieds were still childless at that time. 
     
    It was hilarious, in a way, to hear them complain that they couldn’t find a man… while not having the right attitude or putting in effort where it was needed. While they were going on lots of dates with man after man who didn’t meet their elusive standards, many of my geeky male classmates had, quite literally, nothing at all. These women just wanted to be postergirls who had it all — alpha job, alpha husband, alpha kids, alpha status. 
     
    The men eventually achieved status commensurate with their abilities, and so did all right in the marriage department… but many of the women never got past the bizarre fusion of I-am-the-equal-of-any-man rhetoric and feminine oneupmanship. 
     
    The ones who ended up being married were the more nurturing ones, the religious ones, and the more socially savvy/realistic ones. The ones who were above average in the looks department, and had a mature sexiness about them did very well. 
     
    AJ

  30. MensaRefugee: In reading my previous post, I see the source of the confusion. I was defining “want” in the economic sense — desire *plus* ability to pay. ‘Ability to pay’ in the context of this thread topic means doing the obvious things it takes to get that thing you desire.

  31. If people are going to opt for formulaic marriages with alpha everything where they get to choose the partners and the failure rate is 50% of first marriages and 67% of second marriages, it suggests that maybe a lot of people settle for what they can get rather than what they really want. If that is the cae, they may as well settle for arranged marriages and save themselves all the buggering around. As long as it’s not something silly like marrying close relatives, it’s unlikely to be worse.

  32. I’m a little skeptical about the correlation between testosterone and libido because of what I’ve learned from a sample size of one: me. Even though I have a low digit ratio and libido, am unathletic and melancholic, I have, at least according to one blood test, very high testosterone. I scored 920 ng/dl in total T, which is above the lab’s normal range of 240 – 830 ng/dl. 
     
    I realize the limited value of this anecdote – one person tested once is scientifically useless. However, it leads me to speculate the lack of virility in the smart set isn’t a function of hormonal deficiency. By the way, I’m smart, but not that smart – converting from my SAT score I have an IQ of about 120.

  33. I’m a little skeptical about the correlation between testosterone and libido because of what I’ve learned from a sample size of one: me. Even though I have a low digit ratio and libido, am unathletic and melancholic, I have, at least according to one blood test, very high testosterone. 
     
    Be sure to keep in mind the difference between prenatal and circulating testosterone. Things like digit ratio, that are set by birth, can only reflect prenatal testosterone exposure, which is not always that well correlated with the current level of testosterone in your blood. The evidence also seems to suggest that sexual brain differentiation (i.e. the presence of a more male-typical or female-typical brain) is due to prenatal testosterone. See for example here
     
    Interestingly though, I’ve measured my digit ratio several times with different methods (using a ruler, using a string and measuring that, etc.) and I always get a number very close to 1, which would suggest a more female-typical development. This seems odd given my cognitive profile, sexual attitudes, etc. I guess there’s still a lot to be learned about hormones and the brain.

  34. Yeah, I’m finding this discussion entertaining. I didn’t share the same sort of experiences w.r.t. lack of libido or lack of sexual experience in college as some of the posters here. (Geez. I can’t be the only one who sometimes finds himself unable to concentrate on a technical problem because of too much horniness!) 
     
    The other weird thing, for me, is that I don’t seem to be able to stay interested in a girl that isn’t pretty smart. I’m married to someone about as bright as I am, and everyone I can recall being seriously attracted to has been somewhere in my range of intelligence, at least since high school. (The available range of choices in high school imposed some constraints, at least in the small town where I lived.)

  35. albatross: 
     
    >Geez. I can’t be the only one who sometimes finds himself unable to concentrate on a technical problem because of too much horniness!) 
     
    You’re not. 
     
    >The other weird thing, for me, is that I don’t seem to be able to stay interested in a girl that isn’t pretty smart.  
     
    I hear you. I’ve come to the realization that if I had to choose between a) a stunning, super-hot girl who is average in intelligence; or b) an average looking girl who is incredibly intelligent with a sexy sophistication, I would choose b everytime. 
     
    Of course a stunning, super-hot girl who is incredibly intelligent with a sexy sophistication would be the best… and make her a billionaire’s daughter, for good measure. And double-jointed.

  36. Remember how in “Revenge of the Nerds,” the nerd gives the girl a little explanation of how nerds are better at sex, because jocks spend most of their time thinking about sports and cars, but sex is “all we think about?” What a damned lie that turned out to be.

  37. Just a question to throw out. I assume that I am reasonably intelligent, but I have never been tested, except for the GRE. In IQ terms, what would a 720 score on the Gre verbal work out to ?

  38. Spungen: I think it’s more a case of “I can’t get any, so I will convince myself that it doesn’t matter”. 
     
    See Aesop’s parable of the fox and the grapes.

  39. Spungen: 
     
    This is just another demonstration that while simulations and thought experiments are useful in their way, you really need some experimental data to get anywhere….

  40. Albatross – and beware of small sample sizes.

  41. Thanks for the tip, Mensa, but, unfortunately, this site, like all the others that I have looked at, requires both the verbal and the quantitative scores. As I was applying to graduate English departments, I did not really try on the quantitative component. Does anyone know a site that uses just the verbal score?

  42. Aaaarrrghhh. 
     
    There’s no such (meaningful) phrase as “risk adverse.” It’s risk averse. That is, one has an aversion to risk. 
     
    Sorry, just one of my pet peeves. At least it’s not as bad as “loose” versus “lose.”

  43. Rand, thanks. Fixed.

  44. Maybe smart people are less inclined to lie about their sexual experience (you must all remember someone, more likely a few, being caught out at school saying he* had slept with some girl or other when he had not) making a value judgement that this is probably not that important a thing to lie about.  
    As to the less intelligent maybe they just don’t have the imagination to lie or, from past experience, know they are likely to be caught out when they lie. 
    * I say he because the number of young men who say they have had many sexual partners opens an impossible gulf with the number of partners young women say they have had (the truth must lie somewhere between)

  45. Interesting data presented here. Truthfully, it probably confirms what most of society instinctively believes anyway – that ‘smart’ people as rule suffer when it comes to sex, athletics and any other non-academic pursuit. 
     
    The brutal truth is this is probably true for the most people. “Smart” people (that is, folks with high IQ or classroom intelligence) put so much time into academic matters or on subject matter either obscure or irrelevant to the majority that they fail to develop anything else in life (such as social skills, sexual skills, physical prowess, etc). 
     
    In some ways, smart people are the betas of society (at least in the social hierarchy). Financially, it is different, but socially, yes.

  46. Rushton theory is right. 
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race%2C_Evolution_and_Behavior

  47. I wonder if this is just a trend for the U.S. or if there is a similar correlation in a more sexually liberal environment say… Europe. 
     
    Also, I wonder what sort of correlations would be procured by a homosexual sample of the population. 
     
    Anyone got any Ideas?

  48. > I say he because the number of young men who say they have had many sexual partners opens an impossible gulf with the number of partners young women say they have had (the truth must lie somewhere between) 
     
    I’ve found that most men are pretty accurate… but the real confounding factor is the fact that, for women, a lot of sexual activity “doesn’t count”, so it doesn’t get recorded. E.g., “that time with the bellboy didn’t count”; “that time I was on vacation didn’t count”; “I was drunk”; and my all time favorite “I didn’t love him.” 
     
    Not only is it not recorded, but women don’t count these times it as part of their internal ‘official tally’. They actually *literally* will themselves to believe these reasons. From a man’s perspective, it’s quite frankly weird. But perhaps understandable given her internal feminine drives and compulsions. 
     
    I’ve seen men out there lead *extraordinary* lives as “the man who doesn’t count”.

  49. Yes, women report an average of 4 lifetime partners, while the average male reports 12.[*] The best reason found for this difference is explained by different estimation techniques: women enumerate (e.g. “Let’s see, there was Ted, Billy, Ned, that guy at the bus-stop. . .” ), which tends to reduce numbers, while men ball bark (e.g. “hmm, about 3 during college, 6 more while I was working in Detroit during the 80s. . .”), which tends to inflate them. If you only compare # of partners in the last year, men and women give similar numbers across all ages. It’s only in long time frame memory that the numbers diverge. 
     
    A second important reason for this curious discrepancy is probably female prostitutes who individually have sex with an extremely high number of men, but live on the margins of society so they are generally not included in the same surveys.  
     
    AJ is correct that some women omit sexual encounters based on clever technicalities, but incorrect in implying that they are unique or worse, as some men inflate their numbers based on similar technicalities. Some guys will mark a sloppy french kiss down on their mental score card as another sexual conquest! 
     
    [*] This method of averaging is also misleading, since a small minority of super-promiscuous people substantially inflate the numbers. The modal number of lifetime sex partners for white men and white women in the GSS is 1 (That is 25-30% of white folk have only one sex partner over their lifetime). Most men and women sleep with no more than two or three people in their lifetimes.

  50. AJ 4/29 1:11– 
     
    Your post really rubbed a raw nerve with me as I must have dated every single one of those babes of which you spoke. They all had the attitude–which actually got worse as they (and I) got older!  
     
    That actually made perfect sense to me, because I realized that, just as you said, those who really wanted marriage and family made their compromises early on. It was a self-sorting process in which those left were those who had utterly unrealistic expectations, or in many cases simply didn’t want to get married.  
     
    I went to Bronx HS of Science in NYC, one of the citadels of geekdom. My classmates and I fit the template of people described in this discussion precisely. We got married much later, had kids later and produced far fewer of them than we should have. That includes me at 46 to someone equally geeky. We’re coming up on our 10th anniversary.  
     
    I am not bitter that it took me so long and that I had to put up with all the crap you described. I am bitter because after all that we have only one child, the most beautiful little boy in the world, but one who is low-functioning autistic, and for whom the odds are not insignificant that Daddy won’t be at his bar mitzvah.  
     
    Geeks should not marry other geeks 
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html 
     
    despite the efforts to match them 
     
    http://www.gk2gk.com

  51. Jason Malloy: 
     
    > AJ is correct that some women omit sexual encounters based on clever technicalities, but incorrect in implying that they are unique or worse, as some men inflate their numbers based on similar technicalities. Some guys will mark a sloppy french kiss down on their mental score card as another sexual conquest! 
     
    LOL. That just seems bizarre…. but you may be right. My guess, though, is that if a guy genuinely has a score of 12, he’s not going to add the sloppy kiss. But if the modal number is 1, then Mr. Modal can get a 100% increase in his kill count if said kiss is counted. 
     
    You’re right about being wary re: high numbers skewing the average. For every guy with 100, 500 or 2000, there have to be a *lot* of 1s to bring the average down to even 12 (which may even be an exaggeration!). 
     
    Adam Gellin: 
     
    Yeah, those uber-alpha girls are funny… funny-interesting, not funny-haha. Funny-sad are the girls who try to make the compromises in a calculating way in order to shoehorn as much alpha-ness in as possible. 
     
    I can’t blame them… but it just gets weird when you call it off with a needy medical resident after a couple dates… and then she sends you an email detailing (over the course maybe 1500 words) a) why she can’t really have more than 2 kids, who must fit in at exactly X time in her residency so that she can claim maternity benefits; b) can’t understand why a man who has so much going for him can’t see what an amazing girl she is; c) how and why she wants to talk about it (obsessively, over the phone, ad nauseum). 
     
    Girls like this *know* that they have to make compromises… but don’t make enough of them. They *know* that the clock is ticking… and they worry about it… but they can’t understand that they won’t get what they want if they go about it the wrong way. Unfortunate for all concerned. 
     
    Regarding your son: I hope he is happy. Perhaps that’s the best to wish for him.

  52. AJ– 
     
    Thanks for thinking of our son. He is autistic, but of at least average intelligence, not retarded, and at least as weasely and conniving as any normal kid his age. We are grateful for every day of his happiness and for every day G-d allows us to spend with him.

  53. I do wonder what the lurking variable (or possibly multiple variables) that is responsible for the inverse correlation of intelligence and sexual intercourse. 
     
    I wonder if the same relationship can found for those who are simply ugly. It would be nice to see a multiple regression analysis that showed the main predictive variables.  
     
    (Caution: the following is not based on any actual scientific study) 
    From my own personal experience and my not-so-casual observation of others (I have wondered about this forever) being ugly is not in and of itself a predictor of less sexual activity. Stupid people have lower standards in general. An ugly person will have sex with other ugly people if they are in the 75-90 IQ range. Often times, people with lower cognitive ability are very delusional about their own attractiveness and the attractiveness of their partners. Smart people, even attractive ones, often get analysis paralysis. They have much more in depth criteria for partners. They are also much more self-conscious about their own personal attractiveness. They often act in a rational, contemplative manner rather than in an emotional and impulsive manner. Thus, they are self-limiting often times. An ugly, smart person has it the worst for this reason, particularly a male. I know many ugly smart men who plan on “making a ton of money” before even trying to pursue a mate.  
     
    The big question is, are smart people uglier on average? Or is it just a matter of presentation/values? In any case, in present for, I doubt few would argue against the notion that math majors are less attractive than say, sociology majors. 
     
    To summarize my hypothesis: 
    There is an inverse correlation between attractiveness and intelligence, with intelligence, not attractiveness, being the key predictor variable.

  54. Test.

  55. “Another idea is that smarter people are more religious or more ethically conservative, and are trying harder to wait for marriage to have sex.” 
     
    The opposite is actually true, see: http://hypnosis.home.netcom.com/iq_vs_religiosity.htm and similar studies.

  56. This is not new information. Haven’t you ever heard that curiosity kills the cat?

  57. Wow, this is the most ridiculous studies I’ve seen printed yet! Where is the data reporting the “smart” and “not-smart” have fewer usable social skills?  
     
    If people want to be proud that they have less sex because they are so smart … have at it. Its not something I’m going to hold in my pocket as another jewel given to me for my IQ.  
     
    Seriously people, don’t buy this without some further info. And who can get away with saying:  
     
    “Another idea is that smarter people are more religious or more ethically conservative, and are trying harder to wait for marriage to have sex.” Is the author fracking serious?!!!

  58. I didn’t read through all the responses, and I only skimmed the article… but the things about top schools seem flawed. You firstly need to take into account the sex differences in these schools – a school that is 50/50 FE/MALE is going to be having more sex than one that is 20/80 FE/MALE. You also need to take into account social pressures at these places – MIT is probably a bit more intellectual than campuses that anyone can get into. And their social scene is probably going to be less about booze and getting laid and more about intellectual intercourse… which isn’t to say that I have some silly notion that all ivy league parties revolve around chess and trivia pursuit, but there are probably proportionally fewer keggers and lingerie parties.

  59. After reading the article I’m not sure I want to leave intelligent comment. 
    Sincerely, 
    One Man

  60. I fail to understand how do they surely know who is virgin and who is not. I never believe statistics.

  61. Autism and other mental disorders like ADHD are prevalent in males because for the past 25 years the umbilical cord has been immediately clamped after birth. This loss of blood supply harms the male brain since it is apparently more delicate than female brains. Visit http://www.cordclamp.com for more info on this. We knew back in 1801 to leave the umbilical cord alone but now we are seeing the harmful effect of cutting the cord to early and the epidemic of autism and ADHD in males.

  62. “Looking at this chart it would strongly appear that higher complexity majors contain more virgins than majors with lower cognitive demand.” 
     
    Nonsense. Neuroscience is not challenging, but political science is? And psychology? How does “undeclared” fit into all this? 
     
    This is a good article, but this conclusion is very forced; don’t reinterpret data to fit your argument; change your argument to fit your data.

  63. The answer is pretty clear to me. Smart people have less sex because they have higher standards, and so a lot of them wait to find the right person and a monogamous relationship. 
     
    From my personal experience as someone who would fall under the category of those analyzed in this article, the “explanations” of lower sex drive and athleticism seem more than a little shaky, especially in my case. I’m more inclined to think that families that raise smart kids are less likely to advocate promiscuity.

  64. Been reading all the answers, and let´s say I am a male w/ an IQ of 130, 37 y/old who grew in Europe. 
     
    I have been always atractive, except perharps in the last years, where I have put on some weight, specially after starting work as an expat in Africa. I also do not groom myself every day (altough I have showers several times a day). My style is also too much casual, always jeans and polos or shirts. I know I definitely have to change that, since I hold an important position, and will enlist my sister´s help over the next holidays. 
     
    That said, I have always been an introvert, and as such, I always have a terrible fear of taking the first steps toward strangers. Naturally, that frustates me a bit. Once I know someone, I normally overcame this natural fear, specially if I correlate with the person. On the other hand, I really don´t have to urge to invest in a relationship unless I deeply love someone, and that in truth only happened twice in my life. I also don´t like to impose myself to other persons, and I am a easygoing guy. And I quite notice that many woman are quite put off with my kind of attitude. 
     
    About relations, I only actually starting regular petting with 21, and my first intercourse with 23, with my 2nd girlfriend. Have had 3 more girlfriends after that… but actually I have never getting over losing my 3rd girlfriend. Actually, I think of her a lot, and about the time we lived together. The 4th was only sex for a few months, but really because she cheated on me. About the current one, well, it is not working out very well, and I will have to put an end to it; she is a nice girl, but both not my type. 
     
    That said, I really identify myself with the study about not having not many girls, and sincerely am also thinking of beggining to worry more about myself than about not having the kind of companionship, relationship or family I desire.

  65. I think that most intelligent men can’t interest some women. What do we have to talk about with them? Engineering, math, or chem? My girlfriend always told me to shut up. We usually canÂ’t talk mindless pop culture or what happened on MTV last night. Also I think that most intelligent women have low self esteem. I have never met a smart woman that loved herself. Maybe I am wrong but I am a man so who would be surprised.

  66. Fun article, but it’s worth noting that “Counterpoint” is _not_ a scholarly publication with a reputation for intellectual rigor. It’s not deliberately humorous, but, ahh, few students at either MIT or Wellesley take it seriously. It’s fairly notorious for having atrocious articles, quasi-scientific or otherwise. I wouldn’t trust their statistics if you paid me.

  67. “only 65% of MIT graduate students have had sex” 
     
    Seriously? I know MIT is an intense place and 
    all, but let’s examine this statement for a sec. 
    Approximately 50% of MIT graduate students are 
    married (www.applyweb.com/apply/mitg/campus.html). 
    So… you are saying that only 30% of the 
    unmarried graduate students at MIT have had sex?

  68. “While sex may not be marriage, it may still require effort that intelligent people prefer to invest elsewhere.” 
     
    I think this is a huge part of it because the 
    IQ=130 folks are likely to have to expend a lot 
    more energy to get laid with a partner that 
    they consider suitable and considers them suitable 
    compared to amount of energy expended by 
    the IQ=90 folks. So, given the amount of time  
    the IQ=130 folks spend studying, they simply don’t 
    have the time/effort to worry about getting laid. 
     
    Given the 0% virginity rate in studio art 
    (studying time=minimal) versus mathematics 
    (studying time=intense) this explanation seems 
    apt.  
     
    What’s just shocking is that 60% of CS majors 
    have managed to do the deed. Go figure. Partly 
    this reflects the fact that CS is sooo heavily 
    male. Look at the first figure of the post, and 
    you see that the drop off in the rate of sex 
    with IQ is muuch higher for females. So one 
    presumes that the (heterosexual male) CS majors  
    are most likely having their sex outside of the 
    major! 
     
    Hm.

  69. According to Wikipedia, “On average, the human adult male body produces about eight to ten times the amount of testosterone that an adult female’s body does”. If there was some kind of actual direct correlation between testosterone and lower intelligence, wouldn’t that suggest that any woman is smarter than any man, period? I’m a horrid sexist but I would tend to discount this line of thought.

  70. A little off base with the “more likely to visit a hooker = definately a lot less cautious” mumbo jumbo. If you want to, check the numbers from St. James Infirmary in SF(only hooker run clinic in the nation, for sex workers), they’ve found that most of the people in the sex work industry 1. never tell their primary care providers their line of work(explaining all the skewed numbers from hospitals in general, only crazy crackheads go in to the ER screaming “IM A HOOKER”) and 2. Have a MUCH LOWER(30% lower) rate of STD infection than the general population. Thus it could ACTUALLY be inferred that the higher IQ people were, in fact, being more cautious when visiting a hooker, both from the disease perspective and from the perspective of not becoming attached, and being able to continue on with their work….

  71. I think that many of the comments made are valid ones. One thing came to my mind as I read this article, and that was a conversation that I had with a co-worker several years ago. We were both single, and intelligent undergrads that had a very difficult time finding and forming strong relationships with the opposite sex. (I’m female, he, um male) We were talking about this one day at the university park, when it occurred to me that for ‘average’ people it is easier to find a mate because the playing field is quite made for them. That is, MOST people are average – that is what average is, therefore there are more people with whom one will feel compatible with. As far as people who are above average, the playing field becomes more complicated, and there are fewer people with whom you can find companionship. It is also quite possible that the things that above average people are looking for in a companion/intimate partner become more complicated with each incremental increase in IQ. Perhaps the need for common interests and philosophical views are more specific? Certainly, even ‘average’ people seek mates that are like them in someway. Seeking such traits sorts out people that are not an optimal genetic fit for procreation. This would explain why people with high IQ’s are often viewed as ‘less desirable’ by social norms and why high IQ men are having more sex with prostitutes (so as not to become formally involved with their partners). I think it would be interesting to see a study that correlates sexual activity, IQ/careers of both partners, and IQ/careers of their subsequent children.

  72. Hmmm, this is interesting. I’m a 23 year old lesbian-identified male-to-female transsexual; when I was 10, my IQ was tested at 176 (Stanford-Binet form L-M), and I had perfect scores on enough sections of the test that the administering psychiatrist wrote in her report that this score should be regarded only as a lower bound. I started my freshman year at Cornell (majoring in, yes, computer science!) at age 16. I didn’t lose my virginity or have any kind of relationship until I was 20, a few weeks after I graduated. 
     
    For me, the main reason I took so long to have any relationships was a lot of social awkwardness when I was younger; I also had very few, and mostly pretty distant and superficial, nonsexual friendships until the last three years or so. Especially, I was very uncomfortable with idea of playing the socially expected ‘masculine’ role by making the first move in relationships; this contributed significantly to my gender dysphoria as well. 
     
    Ironically, this probably also delayed my coming out as transsexual by a number of years; it wasn’t until I had that first relationship and started getting some meaningful social experience that I realized just how different I was from straight men; until then it was possible for me to rationalize it all away and persuade myself that I was just an unusually feminine straight male. After I began that relationship, I was starting to seriously question my gender within less than a year, and I came out as trans after about 1 year and 10 months. 
     
    I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy for ten months, and my testosterone level is too low to measure. I don’t know for certain what my hormone levels were like before, but I suspect that I either had unusually low testosterone, low androgen sensitivity, or both. I take a lower dose of anti-androgens than most trans women, and it took my testosterone levels below the normal female range in only a couple of months, where a lot of us have trouble with that until surgery. 
     
    I always had a small, somewhat feminine build, and before transition I sometimes had difficulty passing as male; on various occasions I was mistaken for a butch lesbian or a female-to-male transsexual. After I came out, I could pass as female quite easily, even before starting hormones, and now I have a new job where my co-workers don’t know I’m trans. 
     
    Anyway, that’s enough of a lengthy personal digression. I mention it because it illustrates that I have a particular combination of rare traits, which seems improbable unless some common underlying cause existed. With a standard deviation of 16 points for the Stanford-Binet, having an IQ >= 176 has a probability of about 1 in 1,000,000, and male-to-female transsexualism has a probability of about 1 in 5,000 if you believe Lynn Conway’s estimate, or about 1 in 60,000 if you believe the DSM-IV. 
     
    Thus, depending on which end of the range you want to take, if you assume the two traits are uncorrelated, I’m somewhere between sufficiently rare that I should be the only one of me in the world at present, and sufficiently rare that I should be the only one of me in all of human history. That seems a rather arrogant thing to believe about oneself, and in point of fact I have a number of friends and lovers who fit a similar profile, although I’m probably the most extreme example of which I am aware. Thus, it appears to me quite likely that some common underlying cause exists, which hopefully will bring the probability of my existence down to more plausible levels. 
     
    Considering the recent research (http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/85/5/2034) suggesting that transsexuals have certain anatomical features of our brains in common with our preferred gender rather our assigned sex, and that animal experiments have pretty definitively shown that sexual dimorphism of the brain is controlled by hormone levels during gestation, a possible genetic cause for both low androgen sensitivity and high IQ seems very interesting to me.

  73. Hi, I had a question about one of the supporting links that you provided about the chart displaying Wellesley College majors and the amount of virgins associated w/ each major. You claim that the chart correlates with the average GRE score for each of the majors, and that the CAT.INIST paper could prove it. When I followed the link though, it took me to a study that only compared gre scores of asian and white students at an unspecified university/ies. I was wondering if you might be able to provide a link to a study that actually correlated to the survey conducted at Wellesly College.

  74. I am not sure but little surprised to see this something like this can also qualify as research. How does this help mankind / society I am little curious to know. Is this a scientific invention..??? What is this?? Why doesnt it occur to the authors that this may be all a choice … nothing to do with someones masculinity , intelliegence , knowledge , GRE scores etc. etc. There are people in this world who work hard to make two ends meet and in a difficult hard world. For them something like is is of least importance. I see no corelation and do see promiscuity as / as not something to brag about in the public. No civilized culture promotes promiscuity.

  75. thinker, something does not have to “help manking/society” to qualify as research; sometimes knowledge is an end in itself (that’s what being a scholar is all about).

  76. So, given the slant of this piece, by “intelligent people”, you mean “men who did well on IQ tests”? Where’s the theorising on why women who do well on IQ tests might have less sex? And are the samples representative? And who decides that humanities are less complex than sciences? And who says that elite university = more intelligent student, especially given the financial burdens of studying in the US? And how much of the sexual activity was self-reported, and was the method of surveying consistent across the studies?  
     
    So many questions…

  77. I have an IQ of 148 and lost my virginity at 29. Since that time (I’m 37 now), I’ve had 3 sexual partners. 
     
    As Kaz hints at above, I think that this article makes the age-old assumption that intelligence = IQ. But is it really intelligent to be less fit (and therefore more likely to succumb to disease, and illness in old age)? Is it really intelligent to be so busy that you ignore anything social? To ignore companionship? Is it really intelligent to have no sense of style? No, it’s stupid. These are all things that have affected me, as well as a few people reading this. 
     
    As much as I’d love to toot my own horn about my ‘intelligence’, the fact is that IQ measures a certain way of thinking, not intelligence in it’s practical sense. 
     
    TGGP: “Believe (however erroneously) I’ve got better things to do: Absolutely. With sites like Gene Expression, Overcoming Bias and Wikipedia life is good.” 
     
    I think that will come back to haunt you.

  78. Were hormone levels measured? 
     
    Was muscle mass / fat tissue percentages measured? 
     
    How about social predisposition? 
     
    It’s too hard to generalize about people this way…. it doesn’t make it so. 
     
    For example, I know a geek, IQ off the chart with Aspergers who is a pimp’n lady’s man. 
     
    Lack of socialization oppt’y, communication skills or self-perception are more likely. All of these are fixable, if so desired.

  79. First of all, wow, talk about a revived old comment section. Three months with nothing and then and explosion!! 
     
    I don’t know, how much really good research has been done on this? It’s doesn’t jibe too well with my anecdotal experience.  
     
    My first response would be to say that sexual libido / attractiveness to the other sex is orthogonal to IQ. If you’re athletic, have high testosterone, and good looking, and especially if you have charisma (which involves some or all of those things but also something else as well) you’re gonna be really attractive. Two of those is usually good enough for guys to get laid lots.  
     
    At least moderate levels of above average IQ helps a little with most girls it’s seemed to me in my life, looking back mostly to HS and college and grad school, but with most not so high IQ girls, those four sex characteristics, and these porn highly influenced days probably big dick as well, helps more. Getting laid is different from getting well married a whole lot of the time. (But if the mismatch between the two is great, I image the risk of female infidelity and divorce is elevated.) 
     
    My second would be to say that it has seemed to me that somewhat elevated IQ, at the 115 to 130 or so level, is and advantage, if played right. It doesn’t overcome a low testosterone, whimpy impression among most girls however. It has to be down to earth smarts, and funny, comedian smarts.  
     
    Real IQ geniuses seem to me to have very limited sex appeal almost always, to the vast majority of women. (So too IQ idiots, of course.) 
     
    Most women are most attracted to likely successful warriers, and maybe especially warrier higher officers, bottom line.

  80. The answer is opportunity guys. People tend to have sex with people in their own intelligence bracket. See a correlation in the graph at the top and the graph at this website: 
    http://www.search.com/reference/Intelligence_quotient 
     
    Smart people (and very stupid people) just have fewer people to pick from. Mystery solved.

  81. Well, after reading the comments here, I decided to leave my two cents. I have an IQ of 148, which in Brazil, where I live, is waaaay above average. 
     
    I’ve done the index finger test: I have normal levels of testosterone. I’m very sociable, funny, talkative – and I’ve always been that way. I was an early talker, started with 11 months. I lost my virginity when I was 19. My sex drive is very high, but not abnormal. I haven’t had that many partners, though. I had like 6 girlfriends before marrying, at 26 (now I’m 28).  
     
    All in all, I think I’m either an exception to the rule or maybe the reasons for the “lesser” social life might come from another source. Personally, I lean towards a psychological explanation, such as upbringing and environment.

  82. I didn’t see anything in the synopsis about breaking down the graduate students by country of origin. If I misread, disregard the rest of this comment. Were all the ones in the study born and raised in the US? I’m really not trying to stir up a hornet’s nest here, but cross cultural self-report rates for certain behaviors are different, and should be considered. Some graduate students come from cultures where pre-marital sex is more highly frowned upon than it is in the United States. Anyway, just putting in my two cents.

  83. The analysis of virginity in majors interested me. Why were so many of the computer scientists and neuroscientists non-virgins (all the way to the left)? Surely those are majors which have as high a cognitive demand as Biochemistry and Mathematics (on the right of the graph)?

  84. I find it hard to believe that men with low IQs had more intercourse; I can understand with females (men more likely to take advantage of dim witted women and girls) but what sort of a woman in their right mind would want to take on a dim man? He must be uber uber hot to compensate.

  85. Surely alcohol consumption is a confounder here, with alcohol being associated with more sexual partners and greater risk taking sexually: 
     
    http://www.jstor.org/view/00147354/di000094/00p2077b/0 
     
    There is also a number of ways that alcohol consumption and intelligence are associated, from having similar trends across socio-economic groups to alcohol having a physical effect on brain cells.

  86. So intelligent people have lower libidos and less masculine physiques. What hormone is responsible for both sex drive and masculine builds? That’s right: testosterone. 
     
    And two new papers suggest that testosterone may depress IQ. One team found that salivary testosterone levels were lower for preadolescent boys with IQs above 130 and below 70. (the same two groups most likely to be virgins in adolescence) 
     
    Another paper suggests that a gene responsible for androgen sensitivity and higher sperm counts may also create a tradeoff for intelligence.
     
     
    My whole life I’ve noticed that less masculine men tend to be more intelligent. Wealthy men (who tend to be intelligent) are also less masculine than the average. Take a trip down to your local construction site or auto repair shop and the opposite is true. 
     
    I find it interesting that researchers are starting to figure out why.

  87. Intercourse and Intelligence…. 
     
    In Ukraine the Math majors are hard up because so many of the female math majors are just plain ugly, and of course the male math majors are total nerds.

  88. Many of the above comments seem to resonate intuitively. I’m certain that the vast majority of my AP high school cohort were virgins at graduation, and well on into college and beyond. I myself am an attractive female PhD student at an elite university, married, and have a very low sex drive. Much of it, I think, is absorption in the world of ideas combined with an over-thinking of all things sexual. It’s hard to get lost in the moment when I’m constantly aware of past patriarchies, historical suspicion of pleasure, the particulars of physiology, the economics of marriage, etc. I’ve become very adept at delaying gratification in all sorts of ways, and when it comes to sex, I’d more often prefer to dwell in a sublime realm of thought and conversation than to engage in physical expression which threatens to blur the boundaries of my internal life that I’ve worked so hard to cultivate. I’m too aware of what might be implicated in sex to simply enjoy it without deep existential anxieties.

  89. What A Virgin College Gal Could Do with a 135 IQ–back in 1959 
     
    Wish I majored in math and taught Calculus II…but I’m a Mensa member since 1978. I have an IQ more than 135. My favorite subject is medical and population genetics. My major was creative writing and minor art in my university days. My hobby reading outside of college work always was science. I’m a fulltime author of how-to books and novels. And I’m proud to say that I remained a virgin through high school and university, and did not date while in college because there was so much work to do. I worked my way through college and went to school at night for six years and same routine for graduate school. There’s just no time for socializing beyond talking to people about school….at least back in those days. You see, I started college in 1959. But it paid off. I finally did marry, and entered my marriage as a virgin, and now have nine grandchildren. Was it worth it? Yes. I have a graduate degree, wrote those 83 paperback books, am seeing my first grand child enter medical school, and happily, am retiring from a 44-year career as a full-time author. And what do I do after retirement? Read science books, of course. It’s pure joy reading books on particle physics, hypercubes, dimensions, and genetics. The wait was well worth it. Isn’t it fun to be a retiree, a senior citizen online? Why couldn’t the Internet have happened when I was in college in 1959 and sundry? So why did I major in creativity studies/creative writing and minor in art/illustration? To write books and design my own book covers, says logic. What do I look forward to now in retirement? To be a dog show judge, perhaps. 
     
    A.

  90. My own experience: the girlfriends I had were at least 10 IQ points higher (i.e. > 130), where do I find that many girls with that level of IQ ( and where do imbeciel men with IQ of 70 find many girls with IQ of 80?)

  91. books on particle physics, hypercubes, dimensions, and genetics. The wait was well worth it. Isn’t it fun to be a retiree

  92. Bah! Not in my case. I have an IQ in the 140 range, and…well, I have a heck of a reputation at my school. I know a few other people in the same situation…though we mostly seem to be computer geeks, so maybe that has something to do with it. Anyways, my first time was 9th grade, I have a 4.3 GPA so far this year, and I’m taking a couple computer programming classes at the local University. I’ve also earned the nicknames ‘manwhore’ and have in fact been called a legend by fellow (male…and some female) students for my…experience. So if anecdotal evidence is worth anything, there’s some.

  93. LOL @ annykstra. Is she for real? This site has the best personal confessions. Thanks, Urza. I almost missed that one. 
     
    Seriously, go and read that comment. She has to take the prize for “Worst Lay Ever”. I think that’s ok to say given that all indications point to her proudly accepting; and giving an amazing acceptance speech! 
     
    annykstra , if you’re still reading, go and see a doctor. Actually, make that two. 
     
    Seriously.

  94. I haven’t seen similar studies in other countries. But wouldn’t the result differ in more competing environments? At least from personal experience in my home country (China), wealth and social status is tightly linked to your attractiveness to opposite sex (more so for man than for woman). And intelligence (partially reflected by IQ) correlates to your wealth and status.

  95. Maybe people prefer to have intercourse with others with similar IQ’s. Therefore if you’re at either end of the bell curve you won’t find as many desirable partners.

  96. I’m in my early 20s, male, a college grad, engineer, and virgin.  As someone who has always done well in school, aced the ACT, etc., I presume I am at the high end of the IQ spectrum (though haven’t been measured).  However, I have had multiple long-term successful and loving relationships over the past several years, and came to consensual decisions with my (also highly intelligent) girlfriends to delay sex.  Perhaps some of those high-IQ virgins are people like me, who have the opportunity but opt not to partake?  (Note that one of these girls was not a virgin herself, but despite her wish to have sex with me was willing to respect my decision)  I’m not particularly spiritual, I am reasonably attractive, am very athletic, but have not to this point in life been willing to assume the risks that come with sexual activity.  That choice will change as my life’s circumstances change, but the point is that I made a rational decision, and simply came to a different conclusion than the majority of my peers.

  97. How does testosterone = lower IQs when most geniuses are male?

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