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Science Don't Lie: Dudes Dig Brunettes over Blondes

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | March 16, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | March 16, 2012 |

Common wisdom and Howard Hawkes’ movie titles have long suggested that men prefer blondes over brunettes. But maybe that rumor got started in 1953 when Gentlemen Prefer Blondes came out. I love Jane Russell, but come on, that’s hardly a fair comparison:


Monroe obviously wins that aesthetic battle, but how much of that really has to do with the color of her hair? A more fair comparison would be brunette Marilyn vs. blonde Marilyn.


The nod still goes to the blonde hair, but they may have something to do with how we’re used to seeing Monroe. The blonde hair is iconic.

But what does science say? In fact, both formal and informal science suggest the opposite: Men prefer brunettes. Take, for instance, this poll of 2,000 men on a social networking site, where 60 percent preferred brunettes. This survey of 6,000 people also found that brunettes earn a higher salary and are considered more intelligent. In this survey, more men said they considered brunettes sexier, while 61 percent said they’d prefer to marry a brown-haired woman over a blonde. In this study of 1500 men, where the same woman was rated with blonde, red, and brunette hair, over half of the men said they preferred the brunette version. A research study at Florida State University also reveals that men prefer brunettes over blondes by a rate of 46 to 19 percent. Another study reveals that men prefer brunettes because, biologically, they consider them healthier and therefore better life mates.

Science don’t like, folks. It’s not a slam dunk, but overall, men do prefer brunettes to blondes. How do we feel? Let’s do our own informal survey and examine 17 women as both blondes and brunettes. How often do you prefer the brunette version, and how often do you prefer the blonde (in your comment, also indicate your own gender and hair color, so we can account for bias). I will indicate my own preference (male, brunette/gray) in parenthesis.

1. Katherine Heigl (brunette)


2. Kristen Stewart (brunette)


3. Reese Witherspoon (blonde)


4. Katherine McPhee (brunette)

katherine mcphee 3.jpg

5. Emily Blunt (brunette)


6. Charlize Theron (blonde)


7. Renee Zellwegger (brunette)


8. Katy Perry (brunette)


9. Carey Mulligan (brunette)


10. Gwyneth Paltrow (blonde)


11. Jennifer Lawrence (blonde)


12. Cameron Diaz (brunette)


13. Angelina Jolie (brunette)


14. Emma Stone (brunette)


15. Jessica Biel (brunette)


16. Rachel McAdams (brunette)


17. Sofia Vergara (brunette)


Verdict: I prefer the brunette version 13 times out of 17.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.