Something we've all just assumed is true is now buttressed by scientific inquiry. From Scientific American:
Researchers have begun to explore the cognitive impairment that men experience before and after interacting with women. A 2009 study demonstrated that after a short interaction with an attractive woman, men experienced a decline in mental performance. A more recent study suggests that this cognitive impairment takes hold even when men simply anticipate interacting with a woman who they know very little about.
This sounds like another one of those government boondoggles to study something everyone already knew. But some of the findings are interesting. In a test to determine if women and men suffer similar increases of stupidity when they interact with each other -- my initial assumption was that they do -- the scientists discovered a pretty focused response:
...women’s performance on the test did not differ, regardless of whether they were expecting a man or woman to observe them. But men who had been told a woman would observe them ended up doing much worse on the second Stroop task. Thus, simply anticipating the opposite sex interaction was enough to interfere with men’s cognitive functioning.
Women -- even the thought of women -- make men stupid.
Now we know.