Study: Women With So-Called ‘Less Feminine’ Hairstyles Seen As More Intelligent
10:30 am, February 7th | by Amy Tennery
At least that’s according to one study by Yale Professor Marianne LaFrance, which shows that, yes, your hairstyle can affect how people view you. This, of course, isn’t exactly an earth-shattering revelation. But what LaFrance’s study proved about femininity and intelligence actually is shocking.
In her study, LaFrance showed her test subjects five separate pictures of the same woman. In each image, the woman had a different haircut — a short crop, long curly hair, no hair, long straight hair and a bob. LaFrance then had the study’s participants rate “each person” (that is, the same person but with different hair) on certain perceived traits, like intelligence, wealth and open-mindedness. As she explains in the CBS video you see below, the respondents had dramatically different attitudes toward the woman with each different hairstyle.
And which hairstyle made the woman look the most intelligent, according to the study’s subjects? That would be the one in which she had no hair at all. With longer hair, the woman shown in the study was deemed far less intelligent. LeFrance said she believes study participants responded this way because “[longer] hair, for women, says something about some aspects of femininity. And once you’re talking about [increased] femininity, IQ plummets.”
Translation: the respondents felt that women with shorter hair (or none at all) appeared less feminine — and, therefore, more intelligent.