Do smart women have to play dumb for men?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Magical Realist, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Seems they would. Many men are intimidated by smart women. It encroaches on their sense of being the superior male. It suggests a certain independence and uncontrollability in the female that they just can't deal with. SHOULD women dumb down for men? Why? Isn't that enabling the very chauvinism such women find offensive?
     
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  3. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    If they want to meet dumb men - absolutely.
     
  9. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

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    If the behavior were at sub-conscious level then it would be biology's fault, but the study suggest that it occurs only in men, but then again some things that men do to impress women are simply primitive instinct s facilitated in our modern species as bouts of of strength, bravado, dominance, aggression etc. These traits were the ones our ancestors would looked for in potential mates, which all basically say or relay the impression of : " Hey i'm tough, i can provide for and protect you, so please mate with me" :shake:

    As written in the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-011-9860-z/fulltext.html
    Novels and movies frequently feature men who are trying hard to impress a woman but are completely depleted by their attempts, causing them to stumble, forget where they live, or, in Levin’s case, stutter and fail to recognize a friend. Though these examples may seem far-fetched, recent research suggests that they contain a kernel of truth: men’s cognitive performance is depleted after a short interaction with a woman, especially if the woman is attractive and men report trying to impress her (Karremans, Verwijmeren, Pronk, & Reitsma, 2009). Interactions that require impression management are cognitively taxing because people need to exert effort to strategically control their behavior and monitor the impression they make (Vohs, Baumeister, & Ciarocco, 2005). Thus, men’s (but not women’s) cognitive performance is impaired after an interaction with someone of the opposite sex because they are trying to make a good impression on her, and impression management is cognitively costly.
     
  10. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    So, this would presume that men are far more concerned with how they are viewed by women, than women are with 'making a good impression' on men?

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  11. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

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    Fascinating isn't it! Nature tends to follow this path in terms of evolution, males try to make themselves attractive to females. You will find that in a plethora of species from invertebrates to vertebrates that the male is more colorful,flashy or have ornate or complicated mating rituals to attract potential females. Then again there also the weird and grotesque elements of mating. Watch this video with caution if wish to see them : Nature is amazing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-LdSHyXO-Q. Your face may end like this afterwards::bugeye: i know i reacted that way.
     
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    During adolescence and young adulthood / pre-professional life, it's not just a matter of playing dumb for that gender alone, but also family, friends, and whatever restraining pop-social group. Yoky Matsuoka below was a classic example -- not stirring from her Jekyll / Hyde "airhead" habit until she finally found herself embedded in an environment of peers who expressed just the opposite reaction.

    Of course, working colleagues eventually rescuing you from the local cultural handcuffs will be less applicable to female versions of a Will Hunting, who might remain trapped on the wrong side of the career tracks. Nevertheless, either growing responsibilities or a grueling life itself will later render our earlier, ridiculous tweenish passion and quest for attracting a white knight into a trivial disappointment, anyway.

    Yoky Matsuoka: For example, after I moved to the States when I was 16, I realized that acting smart or talented in school gave my classmates the wrong impression of me. It made me sound like a geek or nerd, and I really didn't want to be labeled those things. So I remodeled myself as an airhead. It turned out that when I acted dumb, I got to have more popular friends.

    But I was also secretly very good at math and science, and I never sacrificed that. Instead, I lied to my friends about which classes I was taking. In college at Berkeley I declared proudly that I didn't buy any textbooks, and I worked hard to show that I never studied. But then I would have to hide in the library days before each test and do nothing but study. I wanted to be popular without compromising the quality of what I was learning. It was very difficult—I was living a double life.

    You're obviously not an airhead today. When did things change?

    It didn't happen until I was a second-year graduate student.
    My classmates and I had to welcome the incoming students and try to entice them into doing the kinds of research we were working on. We all wore nametags and I thought it would be cool if I wrote "Airhead" on mine instead of "Yoky." But as I walked around campus that day, I could tell by the looks on people's faces that they didn't find this funny.

    Around that time, my adviser Rod Brooks pulled me aside and said "Look, Yoky. Stop acting like an airhead. It's not going to take you far." That was the first time I realized that pretending to be dumb wasn't the best idea in the world. I was at a first-class school doing really great research under a talented mentor. This double life was only going to hold me back.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/matsuoka-robotics.html
     
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Why Men Prefer Women Who Play Dumb Rather Than More Assertive Women

    Steven Hoss, Yahoo Contributor Network

    "Social psychologists have hard evidence for what many working women already know: If you want to wield influence in a man's world, you have to play dumb. A new study has found that men are much more likely to have their minds changed by women who speak in a tentative, self-deprecating manner than by women who sound like they know what they're talking about. The same study also found that while men are threatened by assertive women, other women prefer them. Women, in fact, are more likely to be swayed by women who speak directly than by those who start their sentences by saying "I really don't know much about this but, "

    "It's kind of sad, isn't it?'" says Linda L. Carli, assistant professor of psychology at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, who conducted the study. "In some contexts, women are damned if they do and damned if they don't If you're trying to reach an audience of both men and women, you're really in trouble." Another implication of the study is that it doesn't help a woman to have men perceive her as competent. Both the men and women in the study perceived assertive women as being more competent than their tentative sisters, but the men were still more likely to change their opinions after talking to women they perceived as more hesitant and less competent.

    The research, which involved 229 psychology students, was published in the Journal of Personality and' Social Psychology."The men in my study described the women who were tentative as less competent and knowledgeable," Ms. Carli said "But they also described them as more trustworthy and they liked them more. So for men it appears that it's more important that a woman be accessible and likable than competent in order to be influenced by them?" Taking previous research into account, Ms. Carli speculates that men are less comfortable with assertive women simply because assertive women threaten their status in society. White males still hold 97 percent of the senior management positions in the United States, and few social scientists would disagree that white men in general retain a higher status than women or minorities.

    "A woman who behaves in a high status manner, i.e. a woman who is very direct and sure of herself, is threatening to a man," Ms Carli aid "Something like that must be going on if men are more influenced by tentative woman " Lake Florence Geis, a University of Delaware psychologist who has done similar research, Ms Carli believes this kind of behavior is unconscious: Most women aren't aware they are talking in a more tentative way to hold a man's attention, and most men aren't aware they prefer that approach.

    Ms Carli's study dovetails with Ms Geis's research that found that deeply entrenched biases are often unconscious. If you ask men in authority roles, they will tell you that they are not biased and their conscious belief in fairness is absolutely sincere, they're not just feeding you a line. What people don't realize is that we were all raised in a society where these stereotypes were considered desirable, and unconsciously these stereotypes still guide our behavior

    While research on how effectively minorities wield influence is sparse, both Ms. Carli and Ms. Geis believe the same patterns hold true, for anyone in "low-status" positions, including blacks and ethnic minorities Like women, blacks who are more subtle in their approach may be more persuasive than their more assertive brethren. In the eyes of most people, simply "being male may make one a legitimate leader," the study concludes."

    Source:

    Austin, Nancy and Stanlee Phelps The Assertive Woman (Personal Growth) 2002

    http://voices.yahoo.com/why-men-prefer-women-play-dumb-rather-than-more-3604323.html?cat=7
     
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Awesome video and yes my face was like >> :bugeye:

    Learned more than I wanted to know? lol

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  15. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    Still rings true.

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  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, if only the disappointment would be just trivial ... Sadly, it's more than that, at least for some people.

    Not only does playing dumb take up a lot of energy, requiring constant vigilance, which is exhausting and makes one downright paranoid, it also alienates one from otherwise like-minded people (ie. people with similar intellectual inclinations like oneself), and then sooner or later also from the popular clique that one tried to belong to, as it is just a matter of time before one uses an overly fancy word or they see one's book collection or something like that and that blows one's cover.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    In the course of my life I have said goodbye to several women who were perfectly nice and a lot of fun, but turned out not to have much of an intellectual dimension. I want a woman who's smart enough to catch me when I'm wrong.
     
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Something else to take into consideration: There is a change in the relationship of men and women over time.

    On first acquaintance, a man tends to look - long and intently - at the physical aspect of a woman, while a woman sums up the man's physical aspect in two seconds (OK/NO) and considers his probable status, competence, confidence, manners - acceptability. These initial assessments are driven by biology.

    On further acquaintance, both people begin exploring their social compatibility - ethnicity, politics, beliefs, attitude, morals.

    Once a tentative relationship is formed, they look for personal fit - humour, taste in food and entertainment, energy level, sexual desire, activities and interests.

    Only if there is to be a long-lasting friendship, collaboration or mating does it matter whether they are intellectually equal, how effectively they can communicate and how well their respective talents and skill-sets mesh in a team effort... like surviving. Parity in education is not important (unless it confers a social status on the female that the male covets) as long as they get each other's jokes and requests, but if either party is much less intelligent, that one needs to bring more of some other valued quality - perseverance or generosity, a knack for fixing things or healing wounds.

    So, when young people are looking for potential mates, they show to best possible advantage those traits that make them good potential sexual partners: girls try to look pretty, boys try to look strong and confident. Their minds are only marginally relevant in the early stages. That's why stages 2 and 3 are so rife with disillusionment.
     
  19. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    There is not enough hours in the day.

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  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    They learn to stick with the highlights and let the other stuff go.
     
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Too bad those highlights are evergreens!

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  22. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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  23. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    In the minds of men, there is a fine line between smart/assertive and nagging, bitching and complaining. Even the dumbest women can nag, bitch and complain, since this is part of the female tactic to control and change the man.

    If a woman is acting like a normal person/friend, who is not overselling herself, she becomes more like the woman friend the guy married and instead of what all woman seem to become, when she starts to cross the line in the direction of nagging. The dumb down side of the line, gives that male an opportunity to enjoy his mate/friend before the change women seem to go through into all knowing and all assertive to their mates; yes dear.

    When I lived down south a friend said to me, marry a pretty girl, because they all turn into this (pointing to his wife). At least a pretty wife gives you something positive to balance it off. It was not about insecurity to smarts but staying on the other side of the fine line, as long as possible and taking part of this side with you.
     

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