The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

If you had to pick between one or the other, what would you rather have with your partner?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,271 times Debate No: 48123
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




In this debate, I'll be arguing in favor of intellectual attraction over physical attraction, if we as people had to pick one or the other and couldn't have both. Con will be speaking in favor of physical attraction and how it would be better to have physical attraction with your partner versus intellectual attraction.

This is how it is going to go.

Round 1: Acceptance

Round 2: Opening statement as to why you are in favor of intellectual attraction or physical attraction (the pros of intellectual attraction or physical attraction). Also, your opening argument against the opposition ( the cons of just having intellectual attraction or physical attraction.)

Round 3: Rebuttal and summary.


Count me intrigued. Sure, I'll argue that physical attraction is more important than intellectual attraction. Thank you Haroush for presenting an interesting topic. However, I do wish to make sure I'm clear on the topic. This is essentially an opportunity cost scenario, where one can be intellectually attracted to the individual in question, or that same individual can be physically attracted, but not both. I would like to know how Pro defines "intellectual attraction," though I would say that this has more to do with IQ than anything else, and therefore that personality is outside the scope of this debate, as that is not so much an intellectual attraction as a character attraction that encompasses their physical appearance as well. As defined by

1. the visible aspect of one's character as it impresses others
2. a person as an embodiment of a collection of qualities
3. Psychology.
a. the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual.
b. the organized pattern of behavioral characteristics of the individual.

If Pro would like to define intellectual to broaden his ground within the debate, I request that he do so in the comments section so that we can have a reasonable discussion of our individual burdens before proceeding. He may do so in R2, but if that is the case, I reserve the right to argue these burdens further in my own post, and therefore to possibly shut him out of arguments should voters agree with my views. I would prefer that we not get to that point.

As this round is for acceptance, I'll pass it back over to Haroush to clarify and supply his opening statement and arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


Round 2: Opening statement as to why you are in favor of intellectual attraction or physical attraction (the pros of intellectual attraction or physical attraction). Also, your opening argument against the opposition ( the cons of just having intellectual attraction or physical attraction.)

In my opinion, intellectual attraction has many benefits to it. First and foremost intellectual attraction allows there to always be a connection between you and your partner. I feel this is so because when there is intellectual attraction between you and your partner, you can relate to things at a much greater level. For example, if you and your partner had intellectual attraction, you'd both be able to relate to each other's relative interests in gazing at the stars and discussing which each star is and it's celestial name.

Something else intellectual attraction does is allow for a greater understanding between you and your partner. For example, say you and your partner both know a lot about psychology and you just so happened to be a psychologist while your partner is a nurse. One day you come home from work and are super irritated from a long frustrating day dealing with more severely mentally ill people than normal. Your partner goes to ask you, "how was your day?" and you answer differently than usual. You just say, "It was ok." instead of saying,"Pretty good. What about you?". This being said right away, your partner thinks to himself/herself, "He/She must of had a bad day.. Hmmm, I bet he/she had to deal more severe mentally ill patients today."

Another benefit of intellectual attraction is security. The security you get from intellectual attraction is knowing your partner's interests as well as your partner knowing yours. This being said, by knowing your partner's interest as your partner knows yours, there will be almost complete transparency between you and your partner when unexpected events happen. For example, instead of calling up your partner at lunch time from work like you usually do, you instead this day go for a walk on your break due to an intense meeting. Since you and your partner are very much alike in your intellectual thoughts, your partner will understand why you didn't call at lunch time as you both tend to go for a walk or just sit and listen to music to calm your nerves.

There are quite a few other benefits when it comes to intellectual attraction though I will leave some of the other benefits as an add on to my summary and rebuttal.

Here is my opposition to just physical attraction. If you were to have just physical attraction with your partner. These are some of the cons you would experience in my opinion:

Lack of security
Lack of understanding
heated arguments (unhappiness)
Spontaneous activities (unorganized and unpredictable)
Pure Chaos


Lack of Security

The lack of security of just having physical attraction with your partner would be endless.Here is why. If you and your partner are only attracted to each other because of the physical attraction, most likely there will be insecurity problems. When you have insecurity problems you have lack of security between you and your partner.

Lack of understanding

If you were to just have physical attraction with your partner, there would be no understanding. This is because without being intellectually attracted to your partner, you and your partner wouldn't have the same interests. Usually, with major differences in intellect (interests) comes frustration and a lack of understanding.

Heated arguments (unhappiness)

Lack of understanding leads into unhappiness. This happens because of the systematic breakdown of communication and understanding between you and your partner. Therefore, your initial arguments (which were civil at one point) turned ugly, sending the arguments spiraling out of control.

Spontaneous Activities (unorganized and unpredictable)

Since there is no chemistry when it comes to you and your partner's intellect. You both will most likely get bored with each other's interests and find something more appealing to your intellectual desires. This would mean you both would spontaneously find activities to do in the midst of some other activity leaving the relationship unorganized and unpredictable. This would also add to the unhappiness factor.

Pure Chaos

When you add up all the above. You get pure chaos. Leaving you both on the edge and ready to go to world war 3. This is more so a redundant statement as this was the whole point. So, consider this as my conclusion of my argument against Physical attraction.

Remember the rebuttal will be the third round. Forgive me of any grammar errors or errors in general.


I'd like to start off my thanking my opponent for presenting an intriguing case, and for instigating this debate. My argument will be that, in a world where a person gets to choose solely between physical attraction and intellectual attraction to another person, physical attraction should be preferred. As Pro has not stated so, I will mention that the burden of proof is shared " I must provide benefits of physical attraction, and he of intellectual attraction, to be weighed against one another. Whoever can afford the most benefit to their particular form of attraction wins.

Before I start, I would like to briefly clarify the term "attraction." I'll define it here using the same definition provided by Pro in the comments:

"a characteristic or quality that provides pleasure."

Now, someone who is very intelligent may find a lack of intelligence in a significant other to be pleasurable. Similarly, someone who is very physically attractive might look for someone unattractive. Realistically, though, most search for similar traits to their own in their significant others, and many aim to get someone that fits to an ideal. So in the majority of cases, a person will either search for someone who is their intellectual/physical equal or "better" (i.e. more intelligent, more physically appealing) more often. In essence, we're assessing these majorities, and therefore the benefits of pursuing those who are of comparable or enhanced intellect or attractiveness.

So let's get started. I'll begin on why physical attraction is preferable.

1) Emphasis on physical attraction is necessary to spark a loving relationship.

Physical attraction is necessary to initiate a relationship in the first place. A person's physical characteristics differ heavily from their intellectualism in one major way; you can only see the former. As such, it becomes a route to exploring someone more deeply, whereas intellectual attraction requires that exploration as a prerequisite. And no, I'm not just talking about the sexual aspect. Developing an emotional attachment requires interaction. Interaction requires some inducement. A person's physical appearance is by far the most powerful source of induction. Partner selection is driven mainly by physical attractiveness, and often by similarity.[1, 2, 3] As such, the first step in forming a relationship that goes beyond "the friend zone" and into romance is physical attraction, which would be lacking in Pro's scenario, thereby dramatically reducing the likelihood of this transition in any single instance.

2) Physical attraction increases the likelihood of engaging in a lasting sexual commitment.

Physical attraction is the main reason that someone can wake up next to their significant other every morning for the rest of their lives. Without it, a relationship is doomed to failure.

For this, I think it's best to look at individual cases, as assessed by a psychologist and sex therapist. He states that, in his 35 years of practice, he's never seen someone in a couple become physically attracted following a complete dearth of said attraction beforehand. That means that, while someone might be able to establish an intellectual bond with someone that was initially distant, they are far less likely to establish that physical bond.[4] That link includes 4 cases that make it painfully obvious why relationships without physical attraction are in trouble.

So why should we care? I think these cases outline exactly why. Someone who isn't physically attracted to their significant other craves something that they don't have in their relationship. While someone lacking an intellectual attraction may go out and seek intellectual stimulation elsewhere " a practice that's usually harmless " someone who feels starved for physical attraction will go out and seek physical stimulation, pursuing affairs (which is a problem, since fidelity is an important part of staying in love).[5] The lack of either attraction may lead to the end of a relationship, but only the lack of physical attraction creates a problem that is extremely unlikely to ever be solved.

Let's delve further into lasting relationships. Studies have shown that physical attractiveness dramatically affects the likelihood that a person will ask another out on a second date.[6] A higher likeness of personality can increase the likelihood of staying together,[7, 8] which can often take more time to realize, meaning that the increased opportunity created by physical attraction improves the likelihood of finding personality attraction. And yes, it's related to sex as well. There is a direct relationship between satisfaction with a relationship and the amount of sex a couple is having.[9]

Remember when I said that we try to select people similar to us? Again, it's difficult to assess genetic similarity based on intellectual association alone, and rarely accurate. There's little to nothing in the way of genetic components for intelligence, and similar intellects don't necessarily share many genes.[8] However, physical appearance can be very easily correlated to a high likelihood of genetic similarity. Genetic similarity leads to a higher likelihood of having a happy marriage, lower rates of child abuse, more altruism and increased willingness to sacrifice for others.[10, 11]

3) It's biologically preferable.

Physical features are strongly correlated to genetics.[12] As such, unlike with intellect, the genes one passes on to one's children matter a great deal for how they turn out. More attractive people are usually happier, more outgoing, successful, kinder, and more intelligent.[13, 14] They're assumed to have valued traits such as loyalty and integrity [13], it affects how they are judged for social opportunities, friendship, sexual behavior and marriage [15], more likely to be hired,[16] and even affords better perceptions of their customer service quality in the workplace.[17] They're significantly more likely to receive personal information (which means more likely to form emotional attachments).[18]

In other words, it's beneficial to look more attractive, and since I've established that this method of selection will ensure that more relationships tend towards the higher attractiveness ratings, this means that the children of such relationships are likelier to be well off. The same cannot be said of passing on genes for intelligence, which are highly eclectic. That's not to mention that, since physical attractiveness is often an indicator of physical fitness,[2] it ensures a higher likelihood of the significant other being healthy and remaining healthy.

One point on why selecting for intelligence is itself problematic.

Being an intellectual tends to come with a lot of personality traits that make it difficult to form a lasting relationship with someone else who is at or above your level of competence. Intellectuals are often snobs to one extent or another, and that kind of personality doesn't jive well with similar personalities. The sort of know-it-all, opinionated, egomaniacal attitudes that tend to come with a high level of intelligence make any relationship exhausting. These people tend to live their lives in their heads, have a very solid idea of what they're worth, and make it very difficult to engage them in arguments. The frustration this engenders simply cannot be swept under the rug, as it makes it incredibly difficult to form any sort of lasting relationship.

I leave it to Pro to rebut my case and conclude his.


(if anyone has trouble with the links, let me know)
Debate Round No. 2


Haroush forfeited this round.


Well, apparently my opponent ran out of time to post his argument. No worries. I would appreciate it if no one gave conduct points based on the forfeit, as he did inform me beforehand. As he has no arguments this round, I will also not engage in any argumentation, and simply leave it to voters to decide whose case is better.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Krazzy_Player 6 years ago
Unfortunately forfeited.
Posted by whiteflame 6 years ago
That's fine. If you're having issues, we can just leave it be here, and let voters decide based off of the single round.
Posted by Haroush 6 years ago
I think you are going to win this one because I don't have enough time to get this done. Unfortunately, I can't get a break from life.
Posted by whiteflame 6 years ago
That's fine, so long as neither side has a monopoly on the emotional or personality aspects, I'm good with that. Thanks for clarifying.
Posted by Haroush 6 years ago
"So just to be clear, as your definition states, we are not discussing emotional attraction, nor are we addressing personality as a whole, but rather just the attraction that results from intellectual compatibility, which can be seen through one's IQ, schooling, the way one speaks, what one reads, and what one generally pursues throughout their lives to expand that intellect. Is that correct?"

For the most part, but I'd think it would be fair to argue our points on how physical or intellectual attraction influences our emotional attraction between us and our partner. Also, yes! We are not addressing the personality as a whole. As I think you and I both can agree our personalities have less of an effect on our relationships. Though we can use our argument to support how physical or intellectual attraction could help differences in personality traits to co-exist between us and our partner.

What do you think?
Posted by whiteflame 6 years ago
That makes it a little more specific, I appreciate it. So just to be clear, as your definition states, we are not discussing emotional attraction, nor are we addressing personality as a whole, but rather just the attraction that results from intellectual compatibility, which can be seen through one's IQ, schooling, the way one speaks, what one reads, and what one generally pursues throughout their lives to expand that intellect. Is that correct?
Posted by Haroush 6 years ago
in"tel"lec"tu"al [in-tl-ek-choo-uhl] Show IPA
appealing to or engaging the intellect: intellectual pursuits.
of or pertaining to the intellect or its use: intellectual powers.
possessing or showing intellect or mental capacity, especially to a high degree: an intellectual person.
guided or developed by or relying on the intellect rather than upon emotions or feelings; rational.
characterized by or suggesting a predominance of intellect: an intellectual way of speaking.

attraction - a characteristic or quality that provides pleasure; attractive feature: The chief attractions of the evening were the good drinks and witty conversation.

Intellectual attraction - characteristics or quality of intellect that provides pleasure; attractive features: The intellectual attraction between between Dr. King Jr. and the black community was so strong it sparked the civil rights movement.

I think that should be good enough. If not just ask me to elaborate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's main stance against Physical attraction is Lack of security, Lack of understanding, heated arguments which may lead to unhappiness, Spontaneous activities & Pure Chaos. But note that Physical attraction would be plus point in relationship. Pro states Intellectual connection leads to better connection,better understanding and security in relationship but it can't be said that Physical attraction may lead to lack of security, unhappiness etc. Con brought up a better case stating ,"Emphasis on physical attraction is necessary to spark a loving relationship &"Physical attraction increases the likelihood of engaging in a lasting sexual commitment." with better explanation regarding his stance. Therefore "Arguments" to Con. Only Con used sources thus source points directly to Con. "Forfeit" is ignored as requested.

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