Don’t Believe The Dumb Blonde Stereotype; Their IQs Are The Same Or Higher Than People With Another Hair Color

Blonde
Blondes don't necessarily fulfill their stereotype. Pixabay Public Domain

Being a blonde can be a double-edged sword for women. They are often seen as beautiful bombshells, but also get a reputation for being less professional and intelligent at work. The dumb-blonde stereotype is ubiquitous, but yet another study has shown it's just not true.

A team from The Ohio State University completed the study of 10,878 Americans, and discovered that white women with naturally blonde hair had an average IQ of 103.2, compared to 102.7 for brunettes, and 101.2 for redheads.

“Research shows that stereotypes often have an impact on hiring, promotions, and other social experiences,” said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at The Ohio State University, in a statement. “This study provides compelling evidence that there shouldn’t be any discrimination against blondes based on their intelligence.”

To eliminate any racial and ethnic biases possibly caused by the IQ test, Zagorsky decided to study only white participants. Not only were blondes, brunettes, and redheads all within three IQ points of each other on average, but blondes were slightly less likely to be in the lowest IQ category. The difference between the average IQs of women with each hair color were not statistically significant. Zagorsky said you can’t say with certainty blondes are smarter, but they definitely aren’t any dumber.

The study did not point to any genetic relationship between hair color and intelligence. Blondes were more likely to have grown up in homes with more reading material than those with any other hair color, however.

“If blondes have any slight advantage, it may simply be that they were more likely to grow up in homes with more intellectual stimulation,” he said.

Though interesting, the study may have flaws in its self-reporting set up: 20.7 percent of white women reported being blonde, compared to only 17.1 percent of men. Zagorsky said this result suggests about 3.5 percent of women lied about their hair color. He said this likely didn’t affect the major finding, that blondes can hold their own intellectually.

Source: Zagorsky J. Are Blondes Really Dumb? Economics Bulletin. 2016.

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