Cutting-Edge Leadership

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Why Is Money So Sexy?

Get money, get sexy.

You see a much older gentleman and a young attractive lady. What's going on? The stereotype is that he probably has money. What about women with money? Well, a survey reported that wealthy women say that they have more exciting and daring sex lives - and they say it's all because of the money! Why is money an aphrodisiac?

Power. Money is associated with power and prestige. This is particularly important for men. Many studies show that the top quality that makes a woman sexy is physical attractiveness, while for men it is money. Some of this may have evolutionary roots, as money indicates that a man is a good provider, but all in all, there's something sexy about all that money and power.

Money provides freedom. A famous, attractive actress struggled financially for years in minor film roles before she achieved fame on a long-running TV show. When asked how her life was different, she said, "The money has given me more freedom." The survey responses from wealthy women suggested that they had better sex lives because they could afford to travel to exotic places and because they had more free time. For example, 72% of the wealthy women said they were members of the Mile High Club - of course, most owned their own planes.

Reward power. Maybe the song is right that "money can't buy you love," but it can certainly buy sex, and lots of other things. Why is an expensive sports car sexy? Well maybe it's partly due to the speed, the curvy design, but the fact that it costs a lot makes the driver suddenly more sexy.

It is clear that money is a very powerful symbol in our culture. Want to get sexy overnight? Win the lottery.

 

Follow me on twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/#!/ronriggio

 

Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

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