According to a new paper published in the aptly named ‘Intelligence’ by Rosalind Arden of King’s College, London, brainier people are healthier than dumb people, intelligence is sexy and intelligence is also genetic. Amazingly though, the researchers determined all this from a completely unrelated story looking at the quality of a man’s sperm.
Ms Arden sought to test the idea that intelligence was a manifestation of a genetic, underlying healthiness which apparently is a view of many evolutionary biologists. The idea is that intelligent people will generally be healthier than unintelligent people as they will make more informed life choices – such as not smoking, exercising regularly and eating healthy foods – due to their intelligence.
This school of thought also thinks that intelligence is such an indicator of healthiness that it’s also the main factor that determines who one chooses to mate with. This is a nice idea, but I kind of get the picture it’s just been made up by a bunch of geeks to make them feel better about their (lack of) sex life.
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In order to test this theory Ms Arden decided to examine a factor that excluded intelligent choice and solely relied on genetics and she settled on sperm quality, mainly because the data was already available so she didn’t really have to do any work (lazy bones), and also because it was about as far removed from intelligent choice as you could get.
Her sample set were 4500 Vietnam veterans who volunteered for extensive medical and mental examinations in 1945, which included sperm concentration (ie, number of sperm per cubic centimetre), sperm count (ie, total number of sperm in the ejaculate) and sperm motility. She found 425 cases that had satisfactory results that enabled her to test her theory.
Incredibly, this sample set proved Arden’s theory that brainier men had higher quality sperm and therefore that intelligence was a genetic trait. Also, neither age nor any obvious confounding variable that might have been a consequence of intelligent decisions about health (obesity, smoking, drinking and drug use) had any effect on the result, so it seems that (at least according to this study) intelligent guys really do have better sperm and therefore SHOULD be more attractive to girls.
Oh and by the way, I got straight As in my GCSEs. Just saying.