In an attempt to explain gender differences in risk taking from an evolutionary perspective, this study examined the attractiveness of risk taking in potential mates. Questionnaire data from a sample of 352 primarily undergraduate students at Liverpool University, U.K., provided participants’ ratings of physical, social and financial risk-taking and risk-avoiding profiles in terms of attractiveness for long- and short-term relationships. As well as showing a considerable variation in the ratings of different types of risk, we found that the relationship type affected male and female preferences in a similar fashion. Both genders rated risk avoiders as more attractive than risk takers in the context of long-term relationships. In contrast, for short-term relationships men and women preferred risk takers over risk avoiders.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2010
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