Dumb Blonde Stereotype Is Wrong: Study Finds No Link Between Hair Color And Intelligence
Contrary to one of the world's long-standing jokes and stereotypes, blondes are not dumb, a new study found. Researchers found that the IQ scores of naturally blonde men and women are just the same as the brunettes', redheads' and people with other natural hair color.
In fact, naturally blonde women had a 'slightly higher' average IQ score of 103.2 compared to women with natural brown hair who scored 102.7. On the other hand, redheads had an average IQ score of 101.2 while women with natural black hair scored 100.5. But hold your horses, blonde cheerleaders; the researchers said the slight difference was not statistically substantial. Aww.
Study author and research scientist Jay Zagorsky from the Ohio State University said that while 'blonde jokes' are quite harmless, the stereotyping can lead to serious consequences when it comes to hiring, social experiences and even work promotions.
"This study provides compelling evidence that there shouldn't be any discrimination against blondes based on their intelligence," said Zagorsky. "I don't think you can say with certainty that blondes are smarter than others, but you can definitely say they are not any dumber."
In the new study, the research team analyzed the data of almost 10,900 white baby boomers in American who took the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). The participants were between 14 and 21 years old.
In 1980, the participants took the Pentagon's Armed Forces Qualification to analyze the recruits' level of intelligence based on their English and Math scores. After five years, the participants were asked about their natural hair color.
While researchers couldn't find any genetic association between intelligence and hair color, interestingly, they found that blondes were more likely to grow up in households with more reading materials compared to people with other, natural hair colors. Zagorsky removed the Hispanics and African Americans in the new research to remove any bias.
When it comes to men who are naturally blonde, the results were similar. Men with natural blonde hair had average IQ scores like men with other natural hair colors. The research was published in the Economics Bulletin journal.
If natural blondes had any minor advantages, it could be that they grew up in homes with more 'intellectual stimulation' in the form of reading materials.