Just thinking about being in the presence of a woman makes men stupid, according to research.
Thankfully for men who find themselves lost for word’s while in the company of the opposite sex, there is an answer. It’s not you, it’s science.
A study from Radboud University in the Netherlands found that men begin to falter and suffer a decline in mental performance as soon as they anticipate interacting with women.
Using a Stroop test — a psychological method to work out how men process competing information — the researchers carried out tests both before and after a lip-reading exercise performed via webcam.
The participants could not see anyone during the lip-reading test — but were asked to mouth words to a supposed observer of either the same or opposite sex who was watching then.
Results found females scored the same before and after the lip-reading, but men who believed they were being observed by a woman performed far worse. So, despite no direct interaction with a female, their cognitive ability dropped significantly.
They confirmed the results with another study. Participants were told they would be performing the same exercise. The secret was that the lip-reading test never arrived. Regardless, male test scores plummeted at the mere anticipation of being observed by a female. Again, women displayed no such effects.
Researchers suggest the findings could be attributed to “evolutionary pressures” that have shaped men to be more likely to sexualise otherwise neutral situations.
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