NCBI ROFL: The presence of an attractive woman elevates testosterone and physical risk taking in young men.

By ncbi rofl | March 30, 2010 7:25 pm

boarder“The authors report a field experiment with skateboarders that demonstrates that physical risk taking by young men increases in the presence of an attractive female. This increased risk taking leads to more successes but also more crash landings in front of a female observer. Mediational analyses suggest that this increase in risk taking is caused in part by elevated testosterone levels of men who performed in front of the attractive female. In addition, skateboarders’ risk taking was predicted by their performance on a reversal-learning task, reversal-learning performance was disrupted by the presence of the attractive female, and the female’s presence moderated the observed relationship between risk taking and reversal learning. These results suggest that men use physical risk taking as a sexual display strategy, and they provide suggestive evidence regarding possible hormonal and neural mechanisms.”


Thanks to Anne for today’s ROFL!

Image: flickr/fotologic

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  • aiai


  • PaprikaPink

    I love it when science discovers something that I learned by skipping classes and hanging out with boys. If two guys are about to get into some kind of altercation and there are women present, the women can break the fight up almost immediately by leaving the room. If the women show *any* interest at all it will perpetuate the hostilities. If the women demonstrate that they couldn’t care less, the stakes go way down, the conflict fizzles. No, I’m not saying this is true every single time. But I have personally “broken up” a lot of fights just by walking away. Actually I think I was in 6th grade when I first noticed this. And really, the woman doesn’t even have to be particularly attractive.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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