Smart Women, from Marion Dreyfus

November 20, 2009 |

marilyn vos SavantLOVELY, LISSOME LASSES?


ENSURE SWEETER, LONGER SUMMERS with your choice of a bride

A new Swedish study published at the tail-end of 2009 put out results of a years’ long research project on male longevity. Men wed to smart, educated (also lovely?) women are likely to live years longer. Or than bachelors.

Why would that be?

One of the [unstated] explanations is that they challenge their men intellectually, and make the days and weeks interesting with incident and insight. Another, more obvious, variable is that smarter, more educated women will take far better care of both themselves and their families, including husbands, than the stucco-minded simpleton does. For the same reason that women with PhDs will on average live longer, healthier than the high school drop-out. It is not the genes. It is the ability and savvy to make smarter, healthier choices, resulting in fewer health-hijacks and bugaboos, better living conditions, fewer naughty habits, more attentive sporting, fooding and… everything-ing.

Wiser heads will yield healthier and longer-lived spouses.

At base, this study seems the apotheosis of obvious.

But also germane to the study: Smart men will generally opt for smarter women. Not all, of course. Many men (e.g., Tolstoy, to drop a lustrous literary lion) opt for women they can lord it over, show off to, be ages cooler than. In a research finding published some 20 years ago, the New York Times featured a Sunday magazine article that said fully 90% of men look for dumber mates. About 8% or so didn’t mind a woman of equal intelligence. And the vast remainder, 2%, actually sought out women markedly smarter than they.

Of course, as we noted one year in Singapore, really smart women marry men and let the husbands think they are smarter than their wives. That’s real smarts.

So according to the Swedes, 10% of men in the US are smart enough to hunt out women who will keep them entertained, well and healthily long lived. While–boo hiss–90% don’t have the smarts to recognize the value of living and loving with a woman who can make you think, wink, blink and smile.

So we Mensans should have a leg up, theoretically.

(There, there. Not that way. We meant in the metaphorical sense.)

Pitt T. Maner III asks:

 But what do you make of the Swedish "sambo" phenomenom ? The Swedes (I am half Swedish) apparently have a pretty high divorce rate and many decide early on to never to get married at all. A continuous "shacking up" as some of my high school teachers (nuns/fathers) might have called it. Avoiding divorce and its traumatic and stressful effects could be another strategy for some.

"Swedes marry less, cohabit more, live in single-person households more, and marry at later ages than the people of any other rich country in the world. They divorce almost as much as Americans, the world's champions. Re-marriage rates are low. Since the late 1980s a small majority of all births and a large majority of first births have been to unwed mothers and fathers. This cluster of characteristics can be generalized and called the
Nordic pattern of marriage and the family. It has proceeded farthest in
Sweden, but Denmark and Iceland come close; Norway has moved in the
same direction; and so has Finland, but at a slower pace. Marriage and
fertility data, together with attitudinal surveys, show most of the
rich countries have moved in the direction of the Nordic pattern of
marriage and the family, but to a more modest degree. "






Speak your mind

1 Comment so far

  1. Lawrence Schulman on November 21, 2009 9:09 pm

    There are studies that have been done on primates which show calorie restricted diets increases longevity. So perhaps smarter women are mostly kept busy with their intellectual pursuits and not on their cooking thus resulting in a lower calorie intake diet for their husbands opening up the possibility of them now having a longer lifespan.


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