An intimidating guy

When male volunteers were told that a hypothetical female classmate outscored them on a math or verbal test, the majority said they would prefer her as a romantic partner over a woman with a lower score. But Park and her colleagues—psychologist Paul Eastwick and Ariana Young, a doctoral student—pressed on.They asked their subjects to take a math test, then manipulated each man’s result to make it higher or lower than that of an actual woman sitting next to him.The hopeful news is that men can feel great—even when a female partner outperforms them—if they view the relationship itself as an emotional resource.

Strong or "intimidating" personality types have a specific view about the world.

He could achieve this, she says, by taking pride in his partner’s abilities and being happy for her successes—an attitude known as the “empathy response.” He could think of their skills as complementary: “She excels in domain A, whereas I excel in domain B.” Or he could focus on how his partner’s intelligence might benefit him or their life together in a variety of ways, like a better job that boosts them financially.

The bottom line, Pinkus stressed, is the perception of a shared fate, an overlapping of identities, a sense of “we.” But how does a brainy woman get from “me” to “we”?

We can attribute this to traditional gender roles, biology, and evolutionary biases that favor aggression and rivalry.

If nothing overrides a man’s feeling of inadequacy, he can become anxious and depressed and suffer from low self-esteem.

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