Antibiotic makes men immune to womanly wiles

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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Minocycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, may make men less susceptible to the charms of attractive women.

According to a study published in Nature on Tuesday men taking the antibiotic are able to disregard the attractiveness of women while deciding whether or not to trust them.

Researchers gave men an amount of money that they could either split evenly with a partner for no risk or attempt to triple at their female partner’s discretion. The female partner’s were instructed to lose all the money should they be given the chance.

When the partner was an unattractive woman, the men in both the placebo and minocycline group trusted the partner half the time. However, when the partner was a beautiful woman, the men in the placebo group trusted her almost 70 percent of the time, while the minocycline group trusted her only 50 percent of the time.

“To date, the biological mechanisms that underlie the honey trap effect remain poorly understood and no drug has been conclusively proven to attenuate honey trap effects during human social decision-making,” the study concludes. “The results of the present study suggest that minocycline is the first drug to have a novel pharmacologic function in humans—inhibition of honey trap effects.”

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