Men’s brains found to link sex, money

(U-WIRE) A new study has linked sex and money in the minds of men.

Using brain scans, researchers from Northwestern and Stanford universities, have shown that when young men are shown erotic pictures they are more likely to make a larger financial gamble than if they were shown a picture of items like a snake or stapler.

Camelia Kuhnen, a finance professor at Northwestern, and Brian Knutson, a psychologist at Stanford, were both lead authors of this study that was designed to determine the power of emotion and arousal and our financial decisions.

To find this out the study employed 15 heterosexual young men at Stanford. In order to find out how the brain responds to such stimuli, they studied their subject’s nucleus accumbens, which is the pleasure center of the brain.

They found that when stimulated by an erotic image, men were far more likely to bet high on a random chance game that could earn them either $1 or a dime.

“I think it is kind of funny that men would link those two things,” Erin Shaw, a freshman graphic design major at Illinois State University, said. “It’s kind of ironic, but I guess it explains the success of places like Hooters.”

The most important part of the experiment, Knutson stated, is not that sexual images told the men to do a certain thing, but that they created strong emotions. Strong emotions, he explained, can deeply affect financial decisions.

Kuhnen said that the link between sex and money is not a male specific trait, that women, too, link the two in their minds. The reason this study did not examine women, she continued, was because it was more difficult to find a picture that would appeal to many heterosexual women than it is to find pictures to appeal to many heterosexual men.

Erica Swanson, a freshman psychology major at Illinois State University, disagrees.

“I don’t think that the same link could be found in women, some women, perhaps, but not all women. Probably not all men either, I would think that there are exceptions to every study.”

According to an Associated Press story, a study that has not yet been published at Harvard University claims that financial risk-taking can be linked to higher testosterone levels.

The AP story also traced the link between men and financial gambles back thousands of years, claiming the males’ role, as a provider and resource gatherer, is the true cause for the link.

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