Beware The Boxer Short Effect

Most women don’t regularly find themselves compelled to touch a dirty pair of men’s underwear (I don’t even want to think about those unidentified streaks and neither do you!), but perhaps that’s for the best. A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that touching “sexually laden stimuli” (read as: men’s boxers), made women more willing to take big financial risks such as throwing money away on gambling or dropping major ducats on big-ticket items or just overspending on little ones. (Surprise! Heterosexual men behaved similarly after touching women’s bras.)

These results are interesting because they contradict “the assumption that women do not respond to sexual cues when making economic decisions” because, oh, our lizard brains are not immune to the power of manties. Finger those cruddy, boxer shorts and you are going to find yourself in Vegas blowing your life’s savings at the craps table. But why?

Lead researcher, Anouk Festijens believes that handling men’s underwear has a certain sexual connotation that triggers the reward center in our brains. Hence, our rabid desire to open our wallets (and our legs?). Now that we know, we can keep far, far away from our boyfriend’s dirty laundry pile and make it through the holiday season without going into the red. [Research Digest]

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