Science of Love, Sex, and Babies

Red-hot hormones

Posted in media, news by jenapincott on October 25, 2008

Kathleen Parker’s column about the McCain-Palin dynamic in the Washington Post today drew on research that shows that men discount the future when presented with images of pretty women. As discussed in my book, studies have found that high-testosterone men will opt for short-term rewards over long-term gains (i.e. a smaller amount of money now versus a larger sum in the future) when in the “mating mindset.” The theory goes that activity in the amygdala — the part of the brain associated with emotions, impulses, and sex drive — and the hypothalamus, which triggers the release of sex hormones, essentially overwhelm the rational parts of the brain.
How else to explain John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate? It’s the male mating mindset: short-term rewards over long-term gains.

Sarah Palin was surprisingly lovely and lively the day of her debate with Joe Biden — as observed by the snarky site, Gawker. “Where is Palin in her cycle right now?” asked the blogger, noting that the governor’s sex appeal seemed particularly strong that night, and that men were more impressed with her than were women. Multiple studies have found that women have more sex appeal when ovulating than at any other time during the month. In particular, johns in strip clubs have been found to give strippers higher tips when fertile than at any other time of their cycles.

Looking at the calendar, if Palin’s fertility window was open Oct 8, the night of the debate, it’ll likely be so again on Nov 4, Election Day.

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