Monday, April 24, 2006


A team of Belgian researchers has discovered what one of my female newspaper reporter colleagues in Connecticut knew 25 years ago: Sexual cues impair men's decision-making skills.

The scientists showed male test subjects pictures and objects before asking them to enter into a financial negotiation. Half of the men were shown pictures and objects (such as women's lingerie) with heterosexual "cues." The research found that the men who had viewed sexual cues made worse decisions during the subsequent negotiations, presumably because they were distracted.

I remember watching Mary as she interviewed one particular town official. She sat across from him, legs crossed, skirt hiked up, batting her eyelashes for all she was worth, taking notes while her victim happily blathered out quotes that would cost him his political future.

The only ones immune to her charms were the cops, one politician (who later revealed himself to be gay) -- and our editor. After she juxtaposed a sex offense with a parking ticket while transcribing the weekly police log (and it got into print), he fired her.

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