[R]esearch shows men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive.
Researchers who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use up so much of their brain function or ‘cognitive resources’ trying to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.
This sounds like an extension of that old story about only being able to use one head at a time, and unfortunately is probably just as true. I’m somewhat tongue-tied normally; the knots achieve near-Gordian complexity in the presence of a Major Babe. And if she’s paying attention, she’ll know: my speaking cadence, ordinarily a trifle irregular, becomes downright ragged.
Does this work in reverse? Of course not:
Psychologist Dr George Fieldman, a member of the British Psychological Society, said the findings reflect the fact that men are programmed to think about ways to pass on their genes.
‘When a man meets a pretty woman, he is what we call ‘reproductively focused’.
‘But a woman also looks for signs of other attributes, such as wealth, youth and kindness. Just the look of the man would be unlikely to have the same effect.’
It’s a comfort to know I have deeper disqualifiers.