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Immediate sexual gratification

posted by Cliff Kuang   May 30, 2008

Lots of people bemoan the sexism of bikini drenched beer ads and overtly sexual marketing. Turns out, the marketers might just be rationally exploiting a fact of the male brain:

A recent study shows that men who watched sexy videos or handled lingerie sought immediate gratification—even when they were making decisions about money, soda, and candy.

Authors Bram Van den Bergh, Siegfried DeWitte, and Luk Warlop (KULeuven, Belgium) found that the desire for immediate rewards increased in men who touched bras, looked at pictures of beautiful women, or watched video clips of young women in bikinis running through a park.

“It seems that sexual appetite causes a greater urgency to consume anything rewarding,” the authors suggest. Thus, the activation of sexual desire appears to spill over into other brain systems involved in reward-seeking behaviors, even the cognitive desire for money.