Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blonde Jokes Notwithstanding . . . .

There's a generic class of jokes that are based on the premise that members of a particular class or racial or ethnic group, or Southernness are less intelligent than the rest of the population.  Thus, there's the
a.  Redneck joke
b. Polish joke
c.  Aggie joke (and its variants)
d.  Racial jokes
e.  Irish jokes
and so on.

We have to include the blonde joke among these.  According to the script, blondes are particularly dense.  No, make that stupid.

However, both a Google search and a search into Psychological Abstracts failed to indicate that there was any significant correlation between blondeness and lower intelligence.  In other words, hair color bears no relationship to intelligence!

Why the existence of the stereotype?  A possible reason is that adult, natural blondes constitute about 2% of the world's population; and they are largely from central Europe and Scandinavian countries.  Thus, because of the comparative rarity of the phenotype in the population, there is a tendency that when one encounters a dumb blonde, her obtuseness might be attributed to her hair color.  A dumb brunette is just viewed as dumb, without any spurious causality being tied to her hair color.

Actually, this also happens with another hair group: redheads are stereotyped as being hot-tempered.  And there is some localized prejudice against 'gingers,' like they are called in the UK.  Possibly this is related to red hair being more common in the Celtic Fringe, and is an expression of anti-Scottish or anti-Irish prejudice.





9 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i've always been happy to be a 'smart brunette' who is quickly adding lots of gray - but i've earned those. :)

Mike said...

Blondes could actually be smarter by acting dumb and taking advantage of dumb guys.

Clarissa said...

Some blondes may strategically appear to be dense for their own advantage.

Duckbutt said...

Blonde jokes are many; but withy no variation on the theme. I didn't think those stereotypes held water.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I never bought the myth of the dumb blonde.

Bilbo said...

So, redheads are said to be hot-tempered ? As it happens, I am married to a redhead. From Germany. I can tell you that a German redhead is NOT to be trifled with!

bakku-shan said...

Stereotypes can be dangerously misleading. The smartest girl in my h.s. class was a blonde cheerleader with epic boobs!

Insane Penguin said...

Some gingers are hot-tempered because they're expected to be.

MarkD60 said...

I have noticed that so many blondes dye the roots of their hair black, and I wonder how they do it. It must be difficult.