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Do scientists turn you on?

OPINION

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January 26, 2014|By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley | For RedEye

If you want to help the world, please drop what you're doing and have sex with a scientist.

Allow me to explain.

Occasionally my editor will send me links to articles I might find interesting column fodder, usually with the implication that I am a degenerate. This is how I came upon a recent Atlantic article describing several studies exploring the links between sex and intelligence.

According to researchers from the University of Maryland, middle-aged rats that were allowed to have sex showed improved signs of hippocampal and cognitive function. This study was echoed by Korean researchers who found that sex could improve memory and hippocampal neurogenesis.

But while sex might make you smart, porn makes you stupid. That's according to University of Texas researchers who found that too much porn can cause "anatomical and pathological" changes to the brain. UCLA scientists said that the Texas research was flawed, and that porn does not cause brain damage, only to have some German cognitive psychologist jump into the fray to say that porn can indeed affect one's working memory.

Reading this article couldn't have given me more whiplash: Sex makes you smart. (Yes!) Porn makes you stupid. (No!) Well, porn might not make you that stupid. (Awesome!) But it does damage "working memory," one's ability to pay attention to multiple tasks at once. (Pop-Tart!)

But then I stopped and asked, "Wait, what the hell are all these scientists doing?" You can arrive only at the conclusion that scientists are a really horny set of people and need to get laid quite badly. Call it a cruel stereotype if you want, but the evidence is right there.

University of Maryland scientists got up in front of their peers and said, "Hey, guys, what if we watch some rats hump and then maybe see if they can get to a cheeseball easier? That could be a thing."

A University of Texas neuroscientist decided, "Hey, I know! What if you all watched a bunch of porn—like a TON of porn—and then, um, I guess, solve this puzzle. And then, uh ... fill out a form and describe everything, OK? Hold on, I'll find some really good porn."

I'm well-positioned to tackle the subject of scientist sex because I know real scientists. Physicists, Harvard medical researchers, you name it. And let me tell you, these people are not OK. I once snorted crushed-up dog pills with the Harvard guy. (We didn't know they were dog pills at the time—we thought they were a stimulant, and I trusted him because, you know, he's an M.D./Ph.D. Turned out they were pills for a dog's heart murmur or something.)

What I'm saying is that these people are in charge of the future of humanity. They will map our brains, explore our solar system, engineer our smart grids. We need them to get good and laid or they'll spend all their time sitting around asking each other, "Hey, do you think having more boners improves your vocabulary?"

Therefore, I implore you, for the sake of the future of our planet and civilization: Please bang a scientist.

RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."

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