Flashback Friday: Finally, science answers the question "Are blondes really dumb?"

By Seriously Science
Mar 16, 2018 11:00 AMOct 22, 2019 3:54 PM
Photo: flickr/<a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/53199633@N02/6326153253/in/photolist-aD2bXP-eeQqPt-fBCwoX-eaCxUo-nY4TAt-omC1fJ-8Y627p-nEngRF-fMksdU-8Y62i6-7Tkiv5-8Y62oR-nPZm6f-bjx5vx-fMkqEJ-bcVTWM-hKv8FH-e756Ud-e94kMT-eribjU-ea2Rmj-e9rn6h-bfdZcg-6FYq3V-qZZayR-9qCy3-e9Wbe4-f6qbW3-e6GSdn-qZS6Ld-mJE4LT-e9kF5n-hEvCm6-hotojZ-dxGewG-7sm767-aaqoZR-5tModA-7D5War-6FYq6x-aD2oMc-bmUtU8-9wo5gT-7D5WoP-8C5Wg-9BkcUa-7D9LmA-9ukbEW-9StRjM-fM3RqM'>lil'_wiz</a>


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

We’ve featured so many studies that reinforce stereotypes on this blog that we have a whole category full of them. So it was refreshing to find this study, which set out to test whether blondes are actually dumber than people with brown, red, or black hair. More specifically, the author crunched data from a large survey of young baby boomers, which conveniently included both hair color and IQ information for most respondents. He found that not only are blonde women not dumb–they’re actually MORE likely to be geniuses than women with other hair colors. Perhaps “Legally Blonde” is actually a work of nonfiction?

Are Blondes Really Dumb?

“Discrimination based on appearance has serious economic consequences. Women with blonde hair are often considered beautiful, but dumb, which is a potentially harmful stereotype since many employers seek intelligent workers. Using the NLSY79, a large nationally representative survey tracking young baby boomers, this research analyzes the IQ of white women and men according to hair color. Blonde women have a higher mean IQ than women with brown, red and black hair. Blondes are more likely classified as geniuses and less likely to have extremely low IQ than women with other hair colors, suggesting the dumb blonde stereotype is a myth.”

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.