Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Duke of Marlborough Effect

The “Duke of Marlborough Effect” was mentioned by Richard Dawkins to refer to the increase in masculine libido that results from experiencing a victory, whether directly or vicariously. This was so-named from an entry in the Duchess of Marlborough’s diary, “His Grace returned from the wars today and pleasured me twice in his top-boots.” Male athletes tend to experience elevated testosterone levels before a contest; those who win tend to maintain afterwards those elevated testosterone levels, but the testosterone levels of losers drops dramatically afterwards.

There was likely a lot of canoodling in Old Boston when the Red Sox have won the Series.  This was due to the Duke of Marlborough effect and the brief simultaneous release of proper Bostonian inhibitions.

This puts a new perspective on football or basketball season.  Will the birth rate in certain football- or basketball-conscious states rise or fall dependent on whether the major state university has a successful season.  Hmmm . . . . does this mean that because a university gets in seriously hot water with the NCAA or has a succession of losing football seasons, will both their athletic fortunes and libidoes (and possibly the birth rates of the states in which they are located) are likely to decline?  Obviously, this should apply to pro teams also.

Lastly, what about Sarah Churchill?  From her choice of description, it does not seem that she was unhappy with the Duke's performance.


Duckbutt said...

The relationship between testosterone levels and aggressiveness have been fairly documented. Allegedly, trial lawyers and professional athletes are high, ministers are low. The Duke, an ancestor of Winston Churchill, was a reknown military leader in the early XVIIIth century.

Bilbo said...

Perhaps I need to invest in some top-boots.