I prefer anything over nothing - with exceptions allowed. Since I obviously have both, I can hardly settle for less, right? Or maybe just not dying alone is fine. I mean, each other's attributes should match in one way or another, whether it's beauty, brain, or a combination of the two.
All of the girls I have ever met have had a brain (admittedly I didn't check - but motion and interaction strongly suggest it is the case). I have not found all of them beautiful. This suggests to me that these are not independent characteristics. If by 'brain' you mean that I find them intelligent, insightful and charming (how many other characteristics could be indicated by 'brains' - personality, cadence of voice, vocabulary, charisma...?), then I happen to find that beautiful.
There's my problem. I have an aesthetic appreciation for non-visual characteristics of other humans.
So you must mean 'beauty' to mean someone else. Visual appeal only, perhaps. Asking me to make a judgement of preference as if I were seeing someone (at at least two people if I am am to choose) through a one-way mirror in a sound-proof box. But even then, the way people move might sway me in a direction. Perhaps I need a photo. One with a neutral image. Perhaps a passport photo? This seems a bit artificial - but even then it's easier to assess scientifically than any concept of 'brains'.
The science of beauty has not concluded much in several hundred years of study. We know that across cultures, humans prefer symmetrical faces for some reason even if culturally they seem to prefer asymmetry. Also faces that approach the 'average'. As a man, I am likely to be less choosy than the average woman about these characteristics. The potential cost of a sexual relationship biologically is considerably less for me, so that makes some kind of sense. I would anticipate that women's preferences may change depending on the menstrual cycle.
I tried to construct a thought experiment to scientifically test your question, but I came up short because of the lack of definition and the difficulty in eliminating other factors. The closest I got was selecting a preference based on a pool of candidates made up of neutral unadorned passport photos and a selection of forum posts. And all that might test is my preference for human photos above and beyond the written word. All I could conclude was that my preference for a potential partner could not be created from these characteristics in isolation and I needed more input.
So, in short, humans are complicated and I don't know. Why do you ask?
I think it's hard to be funny without brain, so I think you have your answer right there.
Personally, if you were to ask me if I would rather date the most beautiful woman in the world, but she's kinda dumb, or date the most Brilliant woman in the world, but she's kind of ugly, and I only Had those to choices I'd have trouble choosing.
But if you were to ask me if I'd rather date someone average looking with a high intelligence (say a little smarter than I am) or someone who is Very good looking but with average intelligence; I think I'd go with the smart but average looking one.
I think my relationship with that person would last longer than the relationship with the beautiful but average person.
I currently have one with both. So both HA!
But her brain is more so for creativity, cleverness, and being funny than it is for being super intelligent with, idk, math problems?... eeeeeeehhhhh nope, take it back, IT COUNTS AS BRAINS BECAUSE I SAID SO. I'd also like to add how beautiful she is, inside and out. Not very talkative but whenever she says something, it's so golden that my heart literally takes a dive into the sun and explodes.
Although a woman could be exactly the type I'm physically attracted to, but if they're dumb, or just unable to have an intelligent discussion with me on something, I don't find them sexually attractive.
While a woman can be the type that normally wouldn't do much for me (I'm not saying 'ugly' because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what I consider physically attractive isn't apparently what most comic book artists for example think hot women look like) but if they are funny and interesting, I can find that really hot.
Not that the looks don't matter to some extent, though.
I was lucky enough to land a girlfriend who is both. Huzzah.
But you know what? As long as she can keep up with me in conversation and has an interesting future ahead of her, I don't mind how smart she is. But even if my girlfriend is the smartest, if I can't get it up around her, then we're probably not going to be dating for long.
I could like an ugly but smart person, but I couldn't get it up for her. You know, biology. Similarly, a beautiful but vapid woman could get my loins going, but I wouldn't enjoy her company. I need both in some measure.
I mean I suppose I prefer brain over beauty; If I had to choose someone who was a complete idiot but hot af, or someone who was smart but really unattractive, both wouldn't be the ideal scenario, but I would choose the smart one. But ideally, I would get someone with a bit of both.
Both please. Luckily with my fiancee I got both though her brain is extremely specialized as a trial attorney but she is very smart, very cute and I'm quite happy with that arrangement.
Years ago, when I was a young and relatively stupid, I got somewhat involved with an amateur porn star who was, in all fairness, physically about as gorgeous as she could be and was about as sexually active as you might expect a woman in her line of work to be.
She was also...not dumb, just extremely instinctual? She literally could not make any relevant connection to existential thinking or complex concepts, when I'd talk about art or design or whatever else at the time I could just feel this gigantic vast emptiness behind her eyes when she'd just nod and "uh hmm" at what I was saying. She apparently fell in love with me because of...well because of sex to be as simple as possible, I apparently hit all the right buttons and she was "in love with me"....but she never really knew me or understood me beyond the physical because she just didn't have the ability to absorb and understand the very things that make me who I am...so again I won't call her dumb, she just...thought about life in a much different way than I did....so I'd say I would tend to lean more towards brain than beauty but if I can have both as I've been blessed with in my life, then I'll take it.
The porn star still contacts me on occasion, its been almost a decade now since I last saw her, and shes still in love, or so she says. I think her concept of love and mine are probably vastly different too.