Science!: Sperm Battles And Bad Fathers

Lauren Admire | 22 Mar 2010 21:00

This Just In: Boys Do Stupid Things Around Pretty Girls

Those movies of men throwing personal safety and dignity to the wind in order to win over the hot female lead may not be as far fetched as they seem. According to a recent study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science, attractive women make men do stupid things. Tell us something we didn't already know.

During the study, male skateboarders were asked to perform easy or difficult tricks in front of another male and then in front of a teenage hottie. Landing tricks isn't as easy as simply deciding what trick you're going to do. While in the air, skateboarders make split-second decisions about whether or not they're going to change the trick or attempt a new one, depending on the input they're receiving from their body and environment. It was this split-second moment that the researchers were trying to analyze, by measuring the levels of testosterone in gravity-defying skateboarders.

The results were as expected: The skateboarders tried riskier tricks when beautiful women were watching them, even at the expense of crashing into the pavement. Testosterone levels were checked after each trick, and were found to be significantly higher when they were performing in front of females, as opposed to when they were performing in front of males.

"This experiment provides evidence for an affect that has existed in art, mythology and literature for thousands of years: Beautiful women lead men to throw caution to the wind," explained authors Richard Ronay and William von Hippel. "These findings suggest that, for men, the adaptive benefits gained by enticing mates and intimidating rivals may have resulted in evolved hormonal and neurological mechanisms that facilitated greater risk taking in the presence of attractive women."

Source: Eureka Alert


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