It’s a well-known (and false!) stereotype that blonde women supposedly lack intelligence compared to their darker haired friends. A new study by Jay Zagorsky, published in the journal Economic Bulletin, can finally put an end to ‘blonde jokes’, finding that blondes are just as intelligent, if not smarter, than dark-haired individuals.
The blonde stereotype is no laughing matter when it comes to real life, as it can have serious economic consequences for the blonde population, affecting employment, promotion and other social experiences.
“This research asks and answers the question, ‘Are blondes really dumb?’. The question is important because intelligence is a trait many firms seek when hiring,” said Zagorsky.
“If blonde women are incorrectly perceived as less intelligent than women with other hair colours, then blonde women might be sorted into lower paying and less mentally taxing jobs than they have the ability to handle.”
Blonde IQ is slightly higher
Zagorsky analysed data from vocabulary, comprehension and arithmetic reasoning tests completed by more than 10,800 Americans – tests used by the Pentagon to assess the IQ of all new recruits.
He found that blonde-haired women had a slightly higher IQ than darker haired women. The average IQ for blonde women was 103.2, compared with 102.7 for women with brown hair, 101.2 for those with red hair and 100.5 for black-haired women.
In addition to these findings, compared with darker haired women, blonde women were slightly more likely to be in the highest IQ category and marginally less likely to be in the lowest IQ category.
Interestingly, for blonde men to worry their IQ came in at the second highest at 103.9, just behind brown-haired men with an average of 104.4.
Blondes are definitely not ‘dumber’
While these results demonstrate blonde women have a slightly higher IQ than those with darker hair, Zagorsky notes that the difference is not statistically significant.
“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,” he concludes.