It is said that Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships. Now we know why. According to a 2009 study reported in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, heterosexual men lose their minds, or at least get a little fuzzy, when talking to attractive women. And that's a surprise? Each of the 40 heterosexual males in the Dutch study took a standard memory test that involved repeating a series of letters. Each of the men was then asked to talk to either a man or an attractive woman. Afterward, the men took the test again. Researchers found that the men did worse on the test after talking with the woman.
Researchers repeated the test with women subjects and found their test scores to be unaffected. The psychologists behind the study suspect that the need to pass on one's genes is the cause for the disparity. That is, men regard women as potential mates. As a result, the male participant's brain was focused more on trying to impress the attractive woman than the task at hand [source: Edwards].