The headlines about this were a little bit misleading. For example, DailyCaller.com titled their report Antibiotic makes men immune to womanly wiles. Actually, the study suggested that the antibiotic made men a little bit more rational around an attractive woman, not necessarily immune. And the woman's wiles didn't come into play at all, only her appearance.Here's how it happened. The experimenters selected around a hundred men and eight women who were each given money to play the game. The graphic on the right shows how it worked. The women were photographed, and only their photos were shown to the men. Each man could choose to keep the money at which point his game would end. Or he could give the money to the woman whose photo was shown to him, and if he did, the sum given to her would triple. She would then have two choices. She could betray and keep all the money or cooperate and split the money with the guy. Unsurprisingly, the men offered the money to the pretty women more often than to the not-so-pretty women. Interestingly, and perhaps this deserved a study of its own, each of the women decided in advance to betray the guy and keep all the money herself.
The men were put on a four day oral treatment of either the antibiotic minocycline or a placebo. And the result of the study -- see thumbnail on the right -- suggests that the men on the antibiotic were a little bit less trusting of the women's generosity, and more of them got to take home some money.
The report describes how the authors think the drug works on the brain. But here's the money quote -- "This study demonstrated that minocycline is the first drug shown to reduce the honey trap effect on young males." Read the whole thing at Minocycline, a microglial inhibitor, reduces ‘honey trap’ risk in human economic exchange.
Post script: You know, if minocycline had been a component in James Bond's travel kit the stories would have been a lot less interesting.
Post post script: Maybe the DNC should slip some in the drinks of Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, et al. [You just couldn't resist rubbing it in, could you? -- Robo-ed.] [No, I wouldn't want to touch those guys with a ten foot pole much less rub something into them. -- Sleepless.]