Why smarter people fall for infidelity more

Intelligence is one of the most interesting psychological traits that exist. Knowing our cognitive abilities allows us to know how adept we are at adapting to new challenges, changing environments and, in general, situations that require a certain degree of improvisation.

But another fascinating aspect of intelligence is that, statistically, it often goes hand in hand with many other personal, physical, social, and psychological characteristics. For example, people with a higher CI test score tend to live longer, earn more money, and look better.

In the world of love and dating, this also has curious implications. For example, we have seen that smarter people tend to be more unfaithful than the average, a pattern which is particularly accentuated in the case of women. Why is this happening?

    The relationship between intelligence and infidelity

    A few years ago, psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa showed that, according to general social survey data, people answer “yes” to the question “Have you ever had an affair outside of dating?” they tend to score significantly higher on intelligence tests, even controlling for variables such as social class, ethnicity, level of education and, of course, age.

    This difference was slightly larger for women. If so, those who had committed an infidelity exceeded those who had fulfilled their commitment by about 3 points, while in the case of men the difference was two points. Why is this happening?

    Kanazawa acknowledges that there is no data to clearly indicate why this direct relationship exists between intelligence and the propensity for infidelity, but he does make some hypotheses that might point in the right direction.

      Attractiveness, intelligence and gender

      First, the researcher points to a fact that has been amply proven over the years: in general, smarter people tend to be taller and more attractive than others.

      This means, among other things, that it is less difficult for them to find someone interested in having a relationship with them. The stereotype of unattractive people who are very smart “to compensate” is not borne out by the data provided by reality, at least for now.

      On the other hand, as an evolutionary psychologist, Kanazawa is convinced that when it comes to sexual behavior, women have the most power, because they are the ones who choose how and where the dating takes place.

      From there Kanazawa draws an interesting thought. While it may seem contradictory, smarter men tend to value monogamy and loyalty more, which is not the case with representatives with higher CIs of the opposite sex. However, as we have seen, in practice, men and women with high intelligence scores are more likely to break this loyalty commitment. This could be because women with a higher IQ are more likely to be attractive and break sex exclusivity.

      As for the latter, the fact that they value more sexual exclusivity could explain why even the most intelligent (and potentially attractive) tend to have fewer adventures. On the other hand, Kanazawa points out that because men have less freedom of choice when it comes to sexual behavior, they cannot be as consistent with their ideals and values, assuming that to strictly follow their own values, you have to have control over this area of ​​life; in this case, sexual.

        A question of temptation

        Thus, the assumptions made by Kanazawa relate to the extent to which smarter people have to say “no” to more occasions of infidelity. Women with more CI do not value sexual exclusivity more than average, and are therefore a little more prone to temptation, while in men this desirability associated with intelligence is partially mitigated by his positive appreciation of sexuality. monogamy in an “ideal” sense.

        Of course, there are still many unknowns to be resolved. For example, if this pattern of behavior, or the relationship between CI and sexual activity, is encountered in all cultures (probably not). There is also a need for more data on how sexual attraction and propensity for infidelity are related: so far, only data relating to the second and the level of CI have been crossed.

        We must remember, finally, that we are only talking about numbers, statistical models. It is clear that each case is unique and that a person is not predestined to be unfaithful in order to be gifted, let alone. However, in general, the smarter ones may have had more opportunities to say “no” to offers that seemed irresistible.

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