There 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.