It's a fascinating question whether there's a (negative) correlation between intelligence and appearence (or physical strength, social skills or other things). We're all familiar with the (unflattering) stereotypes of physics students/profs, and I'd agree many the physics profs I met in undergrad were easily stranger and less sociable and attractive than most senior males I had met earlier in life. But then again, profs in general, in other fields, are strange too.
As for the girls in physics programs, it's hard for any of us to judge soundly since we're dealing with such a small sample, probably 1-5 girls at one school in one year... There were a few girls in my undergrad physics classes and a they were actually decent to hot. However, they were terrible at physics. They only passed the upper level classes since most profs gave everyone at least a C, and if they were doing too bad they'd drop or retake the class and slip by. They'd have a C average in physics but graduate with a physics degree with close to a 3.0 or above GPA by doing ok in core classes. Some were actually biophysics majors who did well in the biomemorizing *** but again, bombed the physics.
So I don't think my experience can answer this question. Whether girls who are actually competent in physics are hot or not, I don't know.
I believe that natural intelligence
has no correlation with appearence. The students in the gifted class in my high school looked just like everyone else and some were actually very lousy students. Two of the girls in the class were ridiculously hot, one of which I knew well and hopefully will see her at our upcoming 5-year reunion
The key to success, in high school (and in college, unless you do something intellectual like physics/math/entineering), is more about effort than natural intelligence. What we're using when we decide whether someone's smart or not is usually how well they do at school or on tests, which again is not always about natural intelligence. Intelligence is hard to detect even in everyday life since how someone describes the weather or his dog isn't going to reveal much. In extreme cases, you can pick out someone who's truly a ditz. I gave a girl one of those galileo thermometers
for X-mas, and the next week she told me she thinks it isn't working right... "The weather channel says it's below freezing but this thing says it's 70 degrees.
" I couldn't believe what I had heard. I was about to cry, and asked her to repeat herself, hoping I had heard her wrong. But indeed, she actually thought the table-top indoor thermometer was supposed to measure the temperature outside.
I noticed in HS the "smarter" girls (the ones who did well in classes) were less attractive. I think we could come up with some rather interesting theories about how this correlation could develop. Afterall, hot girls get much more attention from guys and are likely to be distracted more by relationship/dating/boy-girl drama than the ugly girls who are left alone and can focus more on schoolwork. Also, people who focus more on appearance or athletics and such may naturally focus less on work and vice versa.
A classic example was a girl who was in my 9th grade trig class. She was nerdy, quiet, boring and not so attractive. She'd often score the highest in her classes on tests and finished middle school with all As. By the end of high school, though, she had become very outgoing, risque and developed into a stunning curvy knockout, but was only a mediocre student. She ended up going to a college mostly for partying, and posted countless drunk and half naked facebook albums during her time there. I wasn't close enough to her to know exactly how the transformation occurred, but in summary, I think this case supports the idea that our non-intellectual attributes influence our lifestyles in such a way that may support or detract from our academic performance, and that the natural intelligence we're born with is not necessarily connected to these attributes.
Blah, another too-long post
twistor wrote:Your social inadequacy is directly proportional to the number of posts in this thread, and inversely proportional to the total number of posts to this site.
No, it's inversely proportional to your # of words per post! Geez, it seemed like just yesterday twistor reached 1000. He's blazed past 1100 and 1111 before I could even blink. Though I think I'm by far the worst at overusing this forum, lol. So many of twistor's and RG's were one-liners, but my posts usually require scrolling down.
mhazelm wrote:I'm afraid to dress too nicely at school for fear that people will not take me seriously as a scientist. I want to be seen as a physicist, then a woman, and not the other way around. Otherwise you'll all just be staring at my chest and it won't matter what nice physics I'm doing...
Ah, sorry you ladies have to put up with that. It's just a sad fact of life things work that way. I'm a gentelmanly exception to that, though *pats self on back*. I'd never want a girl to see me looking at her chest (so I wait to stare until she's looking the other way).