Guns and sexuality: pulling the trigger of attractiveness

Daniel Keith Terlonge, The College of Wooster


The power of sexuality and attractiveness is one of the strongest biological responses in humans. The goal of this study was to demonstrate that an object can change individualsÍ perception of attractiveness. One-hundred and ten participants were randomly assigned to three groups. The participants in the first group were given a paintball gun that resembled a M-4 assault riffle. The second group was given a Nerf Maverick gun. The final group was given a plain white whiffle ball. The three groups then handled their object for fifteen minutes. After the fifteen minutes the individual was then asked to evaluate the attractiveness of 16 individuals in a Power Point presentation. The current study found that the females that were exposed to the paintball gun found individuals more attractive then the female participants who handled the Nerf gun. Women who interacted with the Nerf gun found the target individuals more attractive than women who were given the ball. Men in the paintball group, however, rated targets as less attractive than men in the Nerf gun or ball condition. The women who handled the paintball gun reported higher levels of discomfort. Results are discussed in the context of evolutionary theory.