Sexual Arousal Can Put Us In A Risk-Taking State Of Mind

Why do people take sexual risks? Obviously, there's not a simple answer to this question. Numerous factors can play a role, including some that are biological (e.g., substance use), psychological (e.g., personality traits), and social in nature (e.g., pressure from a partner). However, one very important and often overlooked factor has to do with the cognitive changes that occur when we enter a state of sexual arousal.

In a recent article over at Playboy, I discuss the results from a fascinating new set of studies published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (and authored by Shayna Skakoon-Sparling, Kenneth Cramer, and Paul Shuper) supporting the idea that sexual arousal creates a sort of "tunnel vision" in which we become so focused on sexual gratification that we are unable to take into account other important concerns. The end result is that being sexually aroused may predispose us to taking all kinds of risks, including risks that are both sexual (e.g., not using condoms) and non-sexual (e.g., making risky gambling moves) in nature.

While you're over at Playboy, check out my Hard Science column to learn more about the science of sex. Recent articles include: 

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