It's official: male pick-up lines don't work

Add this to the 'how'd you get a research grant for that?' file. An Edinburgh University-based team has discovered that men are unreasonably optimistic about the effectiveness of their pick-up lines.

To begin with, the researchers divided pick-up scenarios into four categories:

They ranged from attempts to appear cultured ("It's at moments like these when I am reminded of Byron"); to the meaningless compliment ("Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?"); the sexual reference ("I may not be Fred Flintstone, but I bet I can make your bed rock"), to the humorous ("Hi, how do you like me so far").

When the researchers compared responses to these scenarios by men and women, they discovered something surprising.

"Despite being deeply unpopular with women, men are unreasonably optimistic about how well their sexually explicit lines will go down," said psychologist Peter Caryl.

The study suggests males may use bad pick-up lines to rapidly assess a women's personality. Presumably, if she kicks you in the groin after saying, "is that a mirror in your pocket? Because I can sure see myself in your pants", she may not share your sense of humour and/or propriety. The lines may also serve as a way of assuming an archetypal personality that women quickly respond to. According to the researchers, these archetypes include the 'nice guy', the 'provider', the 'leader', and everyone's perennial favourite, 'the bad mate'. Said Dr. Caryl:

"I can't imagine anyone being turned on by this "bad mate" kind of guy, but some women seem to be less put off than others. If you look like George Clooney, you may be able to get away with a whole range of things."

Darn it.