The Seven Least Surprising Scientific Studies

April 26, 2011
Science is a wonderful thing, but it has a problem: scientists can take literally nothing for granted. Take a look at these predictable research studies and tell us that someone wasn't just looking for some easy grant money.

7. Kids Hate Clowns

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You know how everybody hates clowns? Sitcoms have jokes about evil clowns. Horror movies are centered around the awfulness of clowns. The Simpsons coined the phrase “Can't sleep clown will eat me,” which adorns the T-shirt of many a “misunderstood” whiner in high schools across the nation. Clowns are so hated, they even have a phobia named after them, coulrophobia.

But, unfortunately for children everywhere, people seem to think children love clowns. Well, the University of Sheffield decided to put that theory to the test by surveying 250 children about how they felt about clowns. The kids described them as “frightening and unknowable.” Apparently, this is because clowns are wrong and disturbing in an unfamiliar way.

Thanks, science. We needed to know exactly why Pennywise was disturbing.

6. Carrying a Gun Makes You More Likely To Get Shot

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We take no stance on the ongoing argument about guns in America, although we do want as many of them used on gel torsos as possible, because that's never not funny. We're just reporting what a scientific look at the data, namely police reports of people walking around with guns tells us, and apparently, that is, if you're walking around with a gun, for some reason, we can't quite imagine why, you're more likely to get shot.

So, wait, what you're telling us is, if somebody has a gun, and you have a gun, and you get in a gun fight, you have a better chance of getting shot? Wow. Counterintuitive! We're glad the University of Pennsylvania took this on, although we still think the alternate testing scenario, just giving random people guns and seeing what happens, really needs to be tried out. Preferably after we get the reality show for that up and running.

5. You Shouldn't Drive While Stoned

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Far be it from us to add ammo to the clip of that annoying hippie who bakes himself to a crisp every morning and yet insists your having a beer in the afternoon means you rely on chemicals as a crutch, so we won't. That guy shouldn't drive while stoned.

It seems odd that a chemical that impedes motor skills and makes you more easily distracted would be dangerous while driving, but there it is. It also seems odd that the University of Iowa has anything to do with this study, let alone spearhead it, but then again, there really isn't much to do in Iowa. We just figured them more for drinkers than cheeb fans, but to each their own.

Yes, science has proven stoners should just get delivery. Hey, don't cry, pothead, there's got to be a sandwich place that'll deliver Doritos!

4. Movie Popcorn Isn't Good For You

Photo: Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images

We know what you're thinking: how could a snack that is popped in canola oil, one of the grossest oils to cook something in, which is then served in a bucket the size of a feedbag after being coated with salt and covered with melted butter or butter substitute oil product, which is generally eaten with a soda the size of a cannon shell and possibly some nachos with a petroleum product that vaguely resembles cheese possibly be unhealthy? It's got fiber!

Nonetheless, the Center for Science in the Public Interest went out of their way to figure out how unhealthy. It turns out that a large movie popcorn and a soda is the equivalent of eating three Big Macs with twelve pats of butter.

Or, as we call it around here, “morning snack.”

3. Chubby Chasers Exist

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If the Internet has proven anything, it's that it doesn't matter who you are, somebody, somewhere, somehow, wants to have sex with you. Lots of sexy sex. Seriously. Type in anything plus sex in Google, you'll get a result. We know, we tried it, which is why half the staff is applying for workman's compensation due to eye damage, psychological trauma, and emotional distress.

Anyway, chubby chasers, or guys who like overweight women, are far from rare. Or so the University of Westminster discovered, with what they call “fat admirers”, we guess because “dude who falls on the grenade” wasn't in the English lexicon yet. Equally shocking, fat admirers tend to be interested in a wider range of body types than your typical guy!

Hard to believe, considering the fat admirer's tastes, but, hey, people can surprise us, and often do. Especially on dating sites.

2. A Woman Crying Turns Guys Off

Photo: Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry/OJO Images Ltd/Getty Images

We're not really sure why, exactly, the scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel decided to figure out whether or not women's tears made men less likely to want to have sex with them. In fact, we're kind of confused as to how, precisely, the topic ever came up in the first place. You don't really offer somebody sex when they're crying unless you're a class-A douche, but maybe that's how they roll at the Weizmann.

Either way, they tested women's tears and discovered that there's a chemical in them that tells men not to try having sex with them. Of course, your brain saying “Dude, she's crying” should really be the first cue, but either way, we're not letting our sister visit the Weizmann Institute.

1. Old People Have Less Sex

Photo: LWA/Getty Images

You know who we feel bad for, in this study done by the University of Chicago? The intern who had to sort through all the responses. We bet he learned way more about seniors getting randy than he ever wanted to know.

Not that there was much to learn in the first place, as it simply confirmed what we already knew: old people do it a lot less than young people, because they're not as healthy.

Yes, it is extremely likely your grandma isn't doing anything naughty. It's scientifically proven. And isn't that a relief?

Note: The photos in this article are being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the photos is a model.