Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Science and looks

  1. Aug 4, 2006 #1

    I'd like to discuss something with you people. I get the impression that a certain stereotype exists that people who study science generally are unattractive and socially ackward. Having spent four years in a Science faculty I must say that this is most undeserved. Sure, there are a number of anti-social misfits out there...but they are a minority. Quite often they do not even constitute the brightest part of the student population (so much for the genius geek stereotype).

    I was wondering what your experiences with this were. Am I just lucky to be at university where the science people are more socially apt and attractive, or is the stereotype just undeserved?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    I personally like a scientist better. Intelligence is a key part of attractiveness for me. I don't care how nice you look, if you are much at all retarded I am not going to go out with you.
  4. Aug 4, 2006 #3
    In my experience... yes, you are lucky. I was good enough to qualify for a national (sort of.... a couple states were involved) high school math competition. Let me tell you about the people I went up against at that competition..... Boys and girls alike. Not to mention the State Science Quiz Bowl.....

    Lets just say that that is one stereotype that seems to hold up. However, I did win a portion of that competition, so that does null part of the stereotype (I guess it is a matter of opinion, but I don't think I'm that nerdy looking).

    Paden Roder
  5. Aug 4, 2006 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Judging by the members here, I'd say that the stereotype is wrong. I know a lot of hot scientists. :!!) :!!) :!!)
  6. Aug 4, 2006 #5
    Since I work with scientists or at the least technicians every day, I would like to confirm this as bunk, but since I only ever went to University bars, I'd also like to say that I have no idea how many social misfits their are at University.:smile:
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  7. Aug 4, 2006 #6
    True enough, I'd rather go for a girl with brains who is just "moderately" attractive then a air-head supermodel. But in my experience there are alot of extremely good looking girls who are very intelligent, and interested in science. So whenever I read stuff describing the dorky looking female geek being the norm in sciences I get rather cross...seems an unfair branding to me.
  8. Aug 4, 2006 #7
  9. Aug 4, 2006 #8
    I couldn't disagree more. What I have noticed is that women tend to approach academics in a different fashion. Whereas guys tend to get competetive, the girls I know seem to be content in just being good enough without having to show of their mastery of the subject, with all the geekiness that implies. I know most math students at my university rather well, and there are not "manly" in any way...
  10. Aug 4, 2006 #9
    Somehow you sound rather bitter...
  11. Aug 4, 2006 #10
    Indeed, it takes a long time being a man to learn how to be one, at least for many people, and intelligence in this case is not an indication of proficiency at learning how to behave.:smile: We were all young once though, maturity is not something I see in men even over 40 either, as a generalisation, you'd best get used to all men being kids in my experience at least, under a thin veneer of respectability even lecturers and professors are kids, it's just they tend to keep it secret, I've met a few professors who were off the record, they're just like everyone else at heart, again in my experience.:smile:

    I'd say maturity is about knowing when to act like a child, and when to act like an adult, after all being silly is fun right?
  12. Aug 4, 2006 #11
    Found one (as far as I'm a judge on these things). He is in the first year of his Master's. The girl is a last year math MA student as well :wink:

  13. Aug 4, 2006 #12
    You're right, but then what I said is a generalisation; most men never grow up and those that do are still thinking in the same way they did when they were 18, as you say; there is just a wealth of experience that comes with age to determine when it is wise to act in the foolish manner of your younger years, and when to behave responsibly, you can't change the way men are at heart, but we do get more of a clue as time goes by :smile: some of us are born with it, some of us have it thrust upon us, some of us never learn :smile:
  14. Aug 4, 2006 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps one should say 'some' men and 'some' professors, rather than generalize to group of people. Most professors I know are quite serious about their work and about the field in which we work.

    At 40 one should have plenty of experience 'to know a bit about life in general.' On the other hand, as Schrodinger's Dog mentioned, some learn, some don't.

    There is nothing wrong with being young at heart. And then there are those who are just uptight. :rolleyes:
  15. Aug 4, 2006 #14
    I think to assert that a man of science is unmanly you have to define manly.

    Being a man simply means having the qualities of a man, what those qualities are are entirley subjective, unless you want to affirm that being manly = Macho or something else entirely.

    The least manly qualities IMO are often attributed to the state of being a man.








    Only confidence and courage measures up, the rest are just chaff in the wheat. Courage is so indefinable, a man who builds a reputation only to have it destroyed and then girds his loins and reinstates it, instead of dissapearing off to lament his mistakes ad infinitum, is a man; and a man who fights in battle and saves his colleagues then comes home and behaves like he is a hero without humility, expecting respect is no man. Difficult to weigh up what we think being a man is, just as it is difficult to sum up what we think being a woman is.


    Having Empathy

    Considerate action

    emotional honesty

    not forceful in their opinions

    emotional sometimes seemingly ilogically


    All "fine" words all not really descriptive of what it is to be woman, and in the same way what it is to be man, I freely admit I understand women less than men. So feel free to broaden the description as it's a blatant stereotype.:smile:
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  16. Aug 4, 2006 #15
    What?? Have you seen Maria Spiropulu? I have eyes for no other. o:)

    Well, maybe Émilie du Châtelet. :shy:
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  17. Aug 4, 2006 #16
  18. Aug 4, 2006 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :rofl: EVERYONE is geeky and awkward looking in high school, you just don't realize it as fully until you look back at the old yearbooks!

    All one needs to do is look at the member photos here to get an idea of the appearance of scientists and science students in a range of fields, and you'd see that you'd never pick them out from a crowd as a scientist...there's nothing inherently geeky about any of them.

    I found it somewhat amusing when I attended my cousin's wedding somewhat recently (she's quite a few years younger than I am). Her friends kept asking, "You're really a professor?" :rofl: I don't know who told them that in the first place, undoubtedly some relative was bragging, since I don't usually bring up my profession on purely social occassions, but I thought it was pretty funny that they seemed so surprised. I guess they were expecting some old maid to be sitting in a corner with coke-bottle glasses and snorting when she laughed and muttering to myself or something. :rolleyes:
  19. Aug 4, 2006 #18
    Seriously, now, I don't see the joy of being physically and emotionally intimate with someone without being a little intellectually intimate as well. You need a common basis to solve problems together.

    I want to be a team with my partner; individuals who together make a triangular passion for a common cause and for each other. Without that third dimension, two people attracted to one another are just behaving like animals, IMHO, unaware of long term effects on their emotional and physical safety.
  20. Aug 4, 2006 #19


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    As for: Courageous, Aggressive, Dominant, Confident, Arrogant, Selfish - I would agree that of those, only confidence and courage measures up.

    As for Compassionate, Empathetic, Considerate (in action or thought), emotional honesty, not forceful in their opinions, I would hope those apply to men as well as to women.

    I think "emotional sometimes seemingly illogically" and "capricous" would often apply to men as well as women. But then I don't know too many women who have these characteristics.
  21. Aug 4, 2006 #20
    We need to meet :wink:
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Science and looks
  1. Science (Replies: 4)