One of the best things about science is that it labels things that we experience so that we can know ourselves a lot better. You may have noticed that many people seem to be attracted to intelligent people. Well, there is a name for this. The attraction to intelligent people is known as Sapiophilia so people who experienced this attraction are known as sapiophiles. But, why are human beings scientifically attracted to intelligent people? Not everyone is necessarily attracted to intelligent people (or people whom they perceive to be intelligent). If that were the case, then scientists would not have studied this and there would not be a term for this phenomenon.
It is true, however, that many people are sapiophiles.
What Is Sapiophilia?
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. – Albert Einstein
Sapiophilia is the attraction to intelligent people. So, if you are attracted to intelligent people then you are a sapiophiles.
Evolutionary theory could explain this attraction as something that human beings experienced because they want their offspring to succeed in life. Even if you are not looking for a mate (i.e., someone to have children with), after thousands of years of evolution, many people experience this attraction because it has already become almost in-built in many of us. We could relate Sapiophilia to the attraction that many people experience toward others who are taller, or stronger than them. It is all about genetic inheritance. We humans, almost as if by instinct, look for people with whom we could potentially have more intelligent, healthier children.
If you think about this, it makes perfect sense. It must be said, however, that there is no research into this in terms of human evolution. But it can be empirically observed that many people experienced Sapiophilia. Whether consciously or not, many people want to have intelligent children that could be suitably equipped to deal with anything that life would throw at them. But not only that, they want to have children that could be intelligent enough to be successful professionally and in any other way. And even if a Sapiophile is not interested in having children (or he or she cannot), he or she might still want to share their life with someone intelligent. Having an intelligent partner is understood to have a positive impact on someone’s life.
Why Are People Who Are Attracted to Intelligent People Known As Sapiophiles?
Like many scientific terms, the word Sapiophilia (and its derivation Sapiophile) is a portmanteau or composite formed by the Greek work (“phil”) that means love, and the Latin word “sapere”, meaning both “to taste” and “to know”. “Sapiens”, as in “home sapiens” is a man (a person) who knows.
So, Sapiophilia would etymologically mean “the love of someone who knows”. And Sapiophile would mean “one who loves someone who knows”.
How About Sapiosexuals?
You may have heard of the term Sapiosexual and may be wondering what the difference is between that term and Sapiophilia. Essentially, they could be considered synonymous but they like all synonyms they have a slightly different connotation.
The terms Sapiophile and Sapiosexual have only a nuanced difference. If Sapiophile emphasizes “love”, the term Sapiosexual emphasizes “sex”. But we do use both terms to explain an attraction toward intelligent people. Of course, “attraction” can mean different things but if we are talking about sexual attraction then both terms are perfectly interchangeable.
So, someone who specifically experiences sexual attraction toward intelligent people then we can say that they are either a Sapiophile or a Sapiosexual.
Is Sapiophile A Scientific Term?
As we pointed out earlier Sapiophilia is not something that biologists or psychologists have studied in depth. It is, rather, a popular science term but it has become more and more well known.
Are You A Sapiophile?
There are, however, a few traits that would define a person as a Sapiophile.
So, if you want to know whether you are a Sapiophile you should read on:
- Do you consider yourself an intelligent people? The first characteristic Sapiophiles share is that they are intelligent people themselves. And it is because they are intelligent that they want to spend time with other intelligent people.
- Do you find intelligent conversations a turn on? If you are someone who gets turned on by a smart conversation about a variety of topics, then you might be a Sapiophiles. Now, being turned on by intelligent conversation may or may not be related to sex. You may just enjoy intelligent conversation per se. But if you find yourself craving to have in-depth conversations about art, politics, science, history, literature or other intellectual topics on your dates, then there is a strong chance that you would be a Sapiophile.
- Do you enjoy being intellectually challenged? If you enjoy when others are able to challenge people intellectually and mostly feel drawn to people who are influential, persuasive, because of their rhetorical skills (wide vocabulary, listening skills, etc.), then you could very well be a Sapiophile.
What kind of humor speaks to you? If you enjoy intelligent humor (for instance, smart wordplay, fine irony, witticisms), and this is something that you look in others, particularly romantic (or sexual) partners, then you are a step closer to being able to consider yourself a Sapiophile.
How do you feel about grammar and spelling? If you find yourself correcting other people’s grammar and spelling (even if just mentally), you would probably feel attraction for other people who feel similarly about language and who are careful to speak (and write) correctly.
Are you turned off by ignorance? If you simply can’t abide people who are not only ignorant but also seem to take pride in their ignorance or even brag that they never read books, then you could be a Sapiophile. Do you value people’s taste? If you are attracted to people with informed opinions and what you would consider “good taste” then you may be experiencing Sapiophilia.
Are you attracted to voracious readers? Sapiophiles tend to be attracted to people who read widely. Obviously, depending on Sapiophiles’ own personal reading tastes they may be attractive to people who read poetry, Victorian novels, or comic books, etc.
If your answer to all (or, at least, most) of these questions is yes then you are scientifically attracted to intelligent people and are, therefore, a Sapiophile.