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If you have a Netflix subscription, you should watch Dan Ariely’s documentary, (Dis)Honesty, the Truth about Lies.

Dan Ariely is a professor at Duke University where he founded the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He performs research on human behavior, and studies the reasons why we make good decisions and why we sometimes make bad decisions.

Some of his experiments are remarkably similar to the ones you described with the extra coins. However, his research goes farther to examine the motivations behind such behaviors, both negative and positive. He discovered, for example, that including a simple, friendly reminder of a person’s moral obligations can reduce the incidence of bad behavior dramatically, even in the presence of stimuli like the kind described in your article.

“Sex on the brain” is merely one factor in a constellation of many such factors that determine behavior. Singling it out gives me the impression that you think it has some special significance, when in fact, it probably doesn’t.

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