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Men Take More Risks When Beautiful Women Are Present

The Biology Behind the Femme Fatale

Beautiful women get a bad rap. In literature, they're the seducers who lead men to their ends; in real life, they've been called too sexy for the workplace (or self-proclaimed it). I would have dismissed it all as stereotyping, but there's an actual biological explanation.

Study after study shows men are more likely to take risks when attractive women are present. Skateboarders perform riskier tricks (though, fortunately, have fewer accidents) while women watch. Yes, it's true that skaters are young and innately daring, but they're not the only ones susceptible to beautiful women. Even chess players, analytical and forever level-headed, make riskier, and not always smarter, moves in the presence of alluring femininity.

I'm not one to give men free passes, but they can't help it (to an extent). Testosterone is powerful, and a pretty woman sends a heaping dose of it to their brains, making them prone to risk-taking, impulsivity, and shortsighted decision-making.

But is this really such a surprise? Psychologists are just confirming what manipulators have known for decades — why else would beautiful, "nonplaying" women hang around casino tables, or sexy women, like Russian spy Anna Chapman, be sent to break down men. In fact, the phrase "femme fatale" wouldn't exist if we didn't already know this!

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