Men suffer from temporary stupidity when around a woman - or even at mentioning her name, suggest scientists.
Men suffer from temporary stupidity when around a woman -- or even at mentioning her name, suggest scientists.
A study at the Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands found that the mere mention of a woman's name could temporarily affect a man's brainpower.
It revealed that even the presence of a female name on an instant message or text was enough to have an impact, the Daily Mail reported. The researchers lead by psychologist Johan Karremans and lead study author Sanne Nauts performed a series of cognitive tests on a group of up to 90 young, heterosexual men and women, according to Miller-McCune magazine.
They included the simple Stroop test, which is commonly used in neuropsychological evaluations, and a lip-reading task that required them to read short words out loud in front of a webcam. In both instances, the researchers recorded changes when male participants were told that they were being observed by a woman.
The experiments showed that women weren't affected in any way by who they believed they were interacting with. "Casually mentioning a female instead of a male name was sufficient to impair men's cognitive performance," the team explained in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
They added that participants did not even need to know what the woman in question looked like to be affected. "These effects occur even if men do not get information about the woman's attractiveness," they added.
The research supports findings from a 2009 study by Dr Karremans, which came to the conclusion that men suffered from temporary stupidity after interacting with women. Researchers could not explain why male reactions were so different from female ones in the study, though one theory they suggest is that the time men notoriously spend thinking about sex colours their response to sexually neutral situations.
While women believe that they need only look pretty to score a date, they suggested, men rely on character, charm and wit and therefore their behaviour in social situations fluctuates more aggressively