Assessment of Male Physical Risk-Taking Behavior in a Sample of Russian Men and Women
Research has documented sex differences in risk-taking behavior, and young men in particular are more prone than women to engage in activities associated with physical risks. Evolutionary scientists have proposed that this sex difference is a consequence of male competition over mating opportunities. Thus, mating motives promote risk-taking in men more than in women. Here, we report analyses of assessments of male physical risk-taking in a Russian sample (n = 546). Men and women judged vignettes describing men who differed in risk-taking propensity for short- and long-term attractiveness, provisioning quality, and aggression. Risk-taking propensity had an effect on all attributes. Occasional (but not high) risk-takers received the highest ratings on short-term attractiveness. Low risk-takers were judged highest on long-term attractiveness and provisioning quality. High risk-takers were judged as more aggressive than occasional and low risk-takers. Thus, male risk-taking behavior affects assessments of male quality, but high risk-taking is not regarded as positive. We discuss the results with reference to evolutionary investigations of risk-taking behavior and cultural characteristics of masculinity ideology.
KeywordsRisk-taking Perception Attractiveness Aggression Provisioning quality Men Russia
This research was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), grant no. 17-29-02203, and by the German Research Foundation grant no. FI1450/7-2. This study was conducted within the scope of the program of fundamental studies of the National Research University High School of Economics.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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