The idea of being attracted to intelligence is not at all unseemly, but research has come close to proving the existence of sapiosexuals — people who are aroused by brainpower.
Research published in the Intelligence journal by Gilles Gignac of the University of Western Australia has revealed that intelligence is one of the most highly desired qualities in a partner.
Gignac and his partners developed a questionnaire to assess the degree to which a person can be aroused by intellect — the SapioQ.
On a survey of 383 people, intelligence was ranked as the second most desirable quality, next only to kindness and empathy. The result of this research is remarkably similar to that of a similar research conducted in 1990 on 9474 participants from 33 countries — and suggests its validity.
The research evaluated that an IQ of roughly 120 is considered to be the most attractive, while superior intelligence (above IQ 135) might have the opposite effect. This supports the idea of threshold hypothesis of intelligence, which suggests that every person might have a different level of attraction towards intelligence.
It was previously believed that women were more selective in their choice of a partner — and more likely to be sapiosexual — because of the need of relationship investment: an intelligent partner would be more suitable for marriage and would give “smart genes” to children.
Gignac’s research in 2017, however, contends that men and women have an equal tendency to be sapiosexual. Interestingly, 8% of young adults fall into this category — and one in every ten people between 18 and 35 years of age are likely to find sharp minds sexually stimulating.
“Sapiosexuality appears to be a genuine psychological construct and this investigation suggests that there is little in the way of difference between males and females with respect to their preferred levels of intelligence in prospective partners.”
Although people of IQ below 100 did not participate in the SapioQ survey, the theory is strong and can be worked upon with larger samples of data including individuals below average intelligence.
While Gilles Gignac acknowledges that non-intellectual characteristics like “easy-going nature” and “exciting personality” can be influential, he has declared sapiosexuality a genuine orientation.