A couple scientists have gotten creative and tried to document the effect that pretty women have on men in sticky situations:

Researchers looked at the risk-taking behaviors of 96 young adult men, with an average age of nearly 22, by asking them to do both easy and difficult tricks on skateboards.

First, the young men performed the tricks in front of another man, then in front of a young, attractive female.

. . .

As the researchers expected, the skateboarders took greater risks in the presence of the attractive female, even when they knew there was a greater chance they could crash. Along with this increased risk-taking, the young men had higher testosterone levels when they performed in front of the female than when they did their jumps in front of another guy.

Note that I say “document” instead of “prove”, because I’m a believer just from personal experience.

But things like this have always been the nagging voice in the back of my mind against sexually integrating potentially deadly professions like, say, the military. At the very least, it’s worth thinking twice about something that can be shown to make soldiers noticeably more reckless.

I’m entirely with the idea that we live in an enlightened society that does away with gender roles and stereotypes. But biology will not be ignored. No matter how enlightened you are, it would seem, for a young male, women correlate with testosterone.

Add bullets to the mix, and it seems like you might get more dead soldiers. On the other hand, a Medal of Honor recipient must have “distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life”. Maybe that’s what we’ll get more of.