At least it wasn’t fruit-flavored

If you ask me, testosterone ain’t what it used to be:

Jonathan Weaver and his colleagues at the University of South Florida report that threatening a man’s sense of manhood makes him myopic and more prone to take risks, particularly in a public situation. The findings suggest that being surrounded by their sweaty, swaggering alpha-male peers may have provided just the kind of threatening environment to encourage bankers to become short-sighted risk-takers.

For an initial study, the masculinity of 19 heterosexual male university students was threatened by having them product test a pink bottle of “Sweet Pea” fruit-scented hand lotion; 19 others acted as a comparison group and tested a power drill. Ostensibly as part of a separate study, all the men were then filmed playing a gambling game. They started with $5 and had five chances to bet between $0 and $1 on whether a die roll would turn up odds or evens, with the potential to win or lose the amount they gambled. Over the course of the first four bets, the men who’d had their masculinity challenged tended to bet larger amounts; they also bet the maximum possible amount more often.

Let me see if I have this straight. A bottle of fruit-scented hand lotion is now sufficient to threaten a male university student’s masculinity? What would a Hello Kitty power sander do to those poor boys?

No wonder the Y chromosome is threatened with extinction.

(Via the presumably studly Will Truman.)


  1. JT »

    6 August 2012 · 1:52 pm

    Imagine the crazy bets if they drove something like this:

    or this (although I am OK with this one)

  2. sya »

    6 August 2012 · 7:03 pm

    It’s always westernized university students who get drafted into these psychological studies. Couldn’t they have tried to use bankers or at least MBA students?

  3. CGHill »

    6 August 2012 · 8:20 pm

    Are they still compensating research subjects? I seem to remember that I was usually broke when I was a westernized university student.

  4. CGHill »

    7 August 2012 · 7:22 am

    Also, this, from the pony angle.

  5. sya »

    7 August 2012 · 8:37 am

    As far as I know, research subjects are still being compensated.

  6. McGehee »

    7 August 2012 · 11:10 am

    A Y chromosome is just an X without a kickstand.

  7. Jeff Brokaw »

    7 August 2012 · 12:30 pm

    Thank God for this study – now it suddenly all makes sense!

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