This was part of a discussion we had in small group recently. Here is what Ted Roberts writes about the issue in the PURE DESIRE workbook we are using (pg 40) (brackets are my additions):
Why does a pretty woman [or any sexual attraction] make a man stupid?
That is a great question because I have sat with so many men in the counseling office listening to the crazy things they have done… The answer…
Researchers came up with a novel way to illustrate male arousal and its link to stupidity. They offered men a choice between a small sum of money the next day or a much larger amount later on. The payment that took place later was substantially much more money… it is a no-brainer, right?
But here is where things get “stupid”. There was one group of guys who chose the smaller amount of money. Men who had been checking out photos of beautiful women just prior to the offer.
Why such a stupid decision?
It turns out sexual arousal overrides the part of a man’s brain that makes rational decisions. It has been documented that men’s testosterone levels can shoot up 30% after checking out [an attractive person]. The sight of an attractive [person] also floods the reward center of the guy’s brain with dopamine…
The powerful concoction of testosterone and dopamine simply overpowers the guy’s higher reasoning ability.
Two researchers at MIT did an even more revealing experiment. They asked a large number of male undergraduate students to answer questions about their moral boundaries while in different states of arousal. Don’t ask how they were asked to answer moral questions while being aroused. Anyway, the bottom line: The guys were radically more immoral when aroused. And these were smart guys, but when aroused they were open to acts like date rape or having sex with a 12-year old.
Here is the studies conclusion: “Men’s self-control when sexually aroused doesn’t come from will power but from avoiding situations in which one becomes aroused and lose control.”
Precisely why DENIAL is so deadly.