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Pretty Women Make Men Dumb

Men with a high level of testosterone lose the ability to make good decisions when looking at pictures of attractive women, according to researchers from Leaven’s University in Belgium.


The men were asked to play a game: they had to bargain about how to share a certain sum of money between them. Men with a high level of testosterone bargained more than others. However, if they had seen photos with models in bathing suits first, their results were worse. The sight of a naked woman doesn’t influence the strategy of men with a low level of testosterone. The publication suggests that the higher the level of testosterone, the more the sight of an attractive woman will influence a man’s opinion.


The researchers focused on the initial level of testosterone, which forms during the intrauterine period. This level can be identified by comparing the length of an index finger with the length of a ring finger. A longer ring finger is a sign of a high level of testosterone. For these men it’s distracting just to hold a brassiere, says by Bram Van den Berg and Sigrid Dewitt. Pictures with landscapes, old women and a T-shirt, however, didn’t influence their ability to bargain.


This new discovery can help to explain why advertising agencies like to use images of attractive women. “Commercials and posters use images of beautiful women. However, the effect it has on the mental abilities of men has not been investigated to the end,” Van den Berg says.


This isn’t the first research about how the sight of a naked knee can influence men’s behavior. It’s well-known that at the sight of an attractive woman men are inclined to take a smaller sum of money right now in the hopes of getting more, later. Perhaps they want to seem richer at that moment. However, it doesn’t explain why pretty women can sell anything from computers to knives. “Maybe, when they see an attractive woman,” Van den Berg suggests, “men are less interested in getting a bargain.”

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