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Interesting Connection Between Higher Intelegence and Sex

High IQThere is a great deal of speculation about how people with high IQs are different than those of average intelligence. Academic performance, financial status, and higher levels mental functioning are a few of the obvious ways in which the two are different. But there are some not so obvious differences as well. There are some interesting theories about how those with a high IQ are different sexually, than those of average intelligence.

1. They start later

The average IQ is around 100, with approximately 86% of people falling somewhere between 85 and 115. In one study, an adolescent with an average IQ was anywhere from one and a half to five times more likely to have had sex than someone of the same age whose IQ was in the range of 120-130. For each additional IQ point, the odds of virginity rose by more than 2%!

By the age of 19, approximately 80% of males and 75% of females have had sex. About 87% of college students have had sex. However, one study found that at colleges that have extraordinarily high admissions standards – the elite universities – that number drops significantly to about 56% to 60%.

2. They have less partners

Not only do intelligent people have a delayed onset of sexual behavior, another recent study found that they also have a much lower number of premarital sex partners throughout adulthood than those of average intelligence. Some may contend that this is consistent with the belief that those with higher intelligence are more religious or conservative, but actually the opposite is true. Piousness correlates with lower IQ scores.

So, what is the explanation? Evolutionary psychologist Aurelio José Figueredo , a higher executive functioning of the brain is related to using means other than having a high number of sexual partners and frequent sexual encounters to perpetuate the human species. In other words, if you have a high IQ, you know that you don’t need to have a lot of sex with a lot of different people. You’re able to use intelligence to attract a mate and reproduce. Thus, highly intelligent people do not feel the need to engage in sexual activity with a wide pool of partners in order to try to successfully reproduce; they rest assured that focusing on promotion of their intelligence will not necessarily hinder their ability to reproduce at a later period. This is rather primal, but it may offer an explanation as to why those of higher intelligence have fewer partners than their counterparts of average intelligence.

3. Sex drive: Higher or Lower

Here is where there is a bit of controversy in the research.

One theory suggests that the reason that those with higher intelligence have less sex and less partners is that they simply have a lower sex drive. There has been research to suggest that testosterone tends to suppress IQ. Thus, someone with a high IQ, in this scenario, would have a lower libido because of lower testosterone levels. Whether someone has a higher intelligence because of a high IQ or if a high IQ suppresses testosterone has not been discussed.

On the opposite side of that theoretical spectrum is a recent study about sex toys. It turns out that students at two of the world’s most prestigious universities, Oxford and Cambridge shelled out a combined $29,000 on sexual paraphernalia last year. This would suggest that the libidos of the highly intelligent are the same, if not slightly higher than, those of average intelligence.

 4. Delayed gratification

A more psychological theoretical approach suggests that the reasons for a late entry into sexual encounters and a lower number of sexual partners are attributed to delayed gratification. Those who are highly intelligent are more likely to achieve higher levels academically. This often means years dedicated to the pursuit of education and degrees. While there are many who want instant gratification, those willing to sacrifice years of their lives in the pursuit of advanced degrees may also delay gratification in other aspects of their lives as well, as may be the case with their sexuality.

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  • Angel Metempsych

    Correlation is not causation.

    As a data point, I am part of the correlation– I was reasonably attractive, with healthy libido, and a virgin through my teenage years.

    However, I did not then and do not now see much value in delayed gratification or any other reason for abstinence, given proper precautions (birth control and protection from STDs).

    In my own anecdotal experience, with focus on cause rather than correlation, I was abstinent mainly because I was an outlier with underdeveloped social skills.

    Peer groups are age-compressed during adolescence and defined mostly by physical development. By definition, high IQ means that one’s intellectual peers are older (e.g., a 10-year-old with IQ of 140 has a 14-year-old intellect in a 10-year-old body).

    Interests that might intrigue a college-age girl don’t appeal to Sweet-16, and it was not until college that I was thrown into a mix where I could develop social/dating skills. Hence, my own -unwilling- abstinence until 21.

    • Drakaël

      Take a look at the MBTI personality types, which is a system that type people in one of 16 different types, 8 introvert and 8 extrovert, you will notice that the “uderdeveloped social skills” are typical of introverted people, and the four type with the hightest IQ are introverts and the three type with the worst average IQ are extroverts. So it’s, in general, that people who are less social oriented are more intelligent (IQ related).

    • Giannis Ganatsios

      I think you pretty much nailed it there. I could have written pretty much the same. It is not social skills, but basically character that turns them away really. We are attracted to similar people than the other way around. I would bet that social life with like minded people was also better. Also high IQ has been found to lead to decreased aggressiveness, which is a trait that women favor. Less vulgarity, a more rational behavior in general also turn women away. I am really tired of hearing women complain that they only find jerks and then hear them complain about a guy that he is too predictable or kind. Now among women of similar educational level things are better true enough, although the same tendencies exist there as well to some degree, as smart people would enjoy intercourse with a sexy albeit stupid woman. It’s perhaps why relationships among smart people tend to stick better and not break from silly arguments later in life. Stats exist that show illegitimacy, single motherhood and other dysfunctions dominate in low IQs, now that societal and economic pressures have disapeared. The other problem is that women are more in the mean that the extremes, so high and low IQ women are more unusual. Ayn Rand had said that relationships is about giving value for value. If you value that aspect in yourself it is virtually impossible to respect someone without it and it will show.

      • Micah6:8

        Start with the hypothesis that people of similar IQ are much more likely to form a sexual relationship with each other, and a later age at first sex becomes statistically predictable. Take all the males and a females in a school with 1000 students, half male, half female (and assuming everyone is hetero for simplicity of the math). Assume 50 have IQs at the 95th percentile or higher, but the students don’t know who else is in the top 5% until they meet. Assume that each student can meet one potential mate per day and meetings occur randomly, therefore the time required to meet the entire opposite sex population is equal to half the number of people in the population or 500 days. The matchup rate for the top 5% will be 5% * 5% = 0.25% per day, or about 2.5 potential match meetings per day out of a sub-population of 50. Compare this to the middle 50 percent of the population, where its 50% * 50% = 25% matchup rate or 250 per day out of a subpopulation of 500. Result being that if you’re in the middle 50% you meet someone you might be happy to have sex with about every other day, but if you’re in 95th percentile & up, you meet someone you might like to have sex with about once every 20 days. Now clearly the rate at which one meets people of similar IQ to oneself is not purely random, people do self-select into similar social, academic and professional groups and this reduces the statistical disparity, but this is also an oversimplified model, and lots of other dimensions besides intelligence come into play for mate selection. Overall I believe that, for those who are ‘rare’ types in any way, the rate at which one has the opportunity to meet up with potentially “good match” mates is far less frequent that for those who fall into the “average” spectrum of the population, and this alone implies an older age for first sex and fewer partners over a lifetime.

        • Alina Zagitova

          Meetings don’t occur randomly. Smart kids start hanging out with other smart kids quite early, because they participate in academic competitions and stuff like that since a high school and ever earlier. If one is really smart they will soon find themselves surrounded my their intelligence peers.

    • alan white

      IQ and norming against age is not used any more. Yes, it started out that way.