Bitching Brew

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Shocking research.

You ain't gonna believe this one. Truly, this was a moment when the Earth stood still.

Ariely and Loewenstein say their results are "striking" and more than confirm what most people believe about young men as a group - that when aroused, they (1) become sexually attracted to things otherwise offputting; (2) grow more willing to engage in morally questionable behaviour that might lead to sex; and (3) are more likely to have unprotected sex.

[Our] study shows that sexual arousal influences people in profound ways," they write.

Really, I'm stunned. Who would have expected such astonishing results? This flies in the face of all our intuitions about the male (and female) brain. There's more, of course. If you want to read some of the... delightful... lines in this report from today's Guardian, then feel free. You'll never look at the Tab key in the computer lab the same way again. Though given the results of the research, it's quite possible that they simply forgot to hit the Tab key. I mean, it probably wasn't foremost in their mind...

In fairness, there's a great difference between fantasy and reality. This wasn't exactly a real-world experiment. So you can't really extrapolate this as a real-world rule for the entire population. (But quite a chunk of it, I suspect.) Run the test on a group of women, I say. I wouldn't expect the results to be very different, but some well-publicised "proof" to show to the ignorant in our midst would be nice.

And yes, the gents did get paid for participating in this experiment. I'm sure it was a really tough job finding volunteers.

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