Yes, Being Horny Is Scientifically Proven to Make You Dumber

Who would have thought?
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Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Have you ever regretted a one-night stand, or perhaps gotten busy in a moving vehicle? Then you know all too well how the mystical allure of sex can seriously warp your judgement. In a study surprising absolutely no one, we now have proof that being horny can cause you to make dumber decisions. 

A paper published in the January issue of The Archives of Sexual Behavior sheds light on two experiments, proving once and for all the stupidity of the human race when sex is involved. In the first experiment, researchers prepared two sets of clips for participants to watch: one set pornographic, and one set relatively vanilla (it is worth noting, much to my personal amusement, that the non-pornographic film clips included scenes form Pixar's Wall-E, according to Tech Insider). After their respective viewings, participants from both groups were asked questions to determine their risk-taking behavior, like whether or not they'd be likely to have unprotected sex. 

In the second experiment, which used the same grouping of clips, Blackjack was substituted for questions about sex behaviors in order to measure rational decision-making.

In both experiments, the participants who watched porn and other arousing materials were more likely to make dumb, risky decisions than those who hadn't, be it forgoing a condom or taking an in-advisable bet on the gambling table. 

"These findings suggest that, in situations where there are strong sexually visceral cues, both men and women experiencing strong sexual arousal may have lower inhibitions and may experience impaired decision-making," the study authors write.

While certainly not shocking, it does seem at odds with a study released in fall of 2015, which indicated that people consider sex-related risks inherently more dangerous than other health risks, like getting in a car crash. So apparently we are simultaneously terrified of sex, but also completely helpless when it comes to getting it on. Welcome to the human condition.