Meta-analysis risk-takers is a socially influenced feature of the

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Last updated: January 8, 2020

Meta-analysis comparing risk-takingtendencies of male and female (Byrne et.al, 1999) illustrated that male participantswere more likely to take risks than female participants. The study showed thatmale participants lacked discernments in risky situations and tend to take morerisks even when it clearly had negative consequences. The opposite was true forfemales, they were disinclined to take risks even in innocuous situations when thebenefits outweighed the risks. The author hypothesized that the difference inrisk-taking tendencies between males and females can be attributed to differentdevelopmental and social influences imposed upon different genders fromchildhood, leading to divergences in the developments of self, socialenvironment and risk perceptions.

These factors resulted in differentexpectations and values between genders and either independently orcollectively influence individuals during risk assessment and decision-makingprocesses, leading to observed differences in risk-taking behaviours betweengenders.  Another study by Turner and McClure (2003)showed that male scored higher than female in aggression, thrill-seeking andrisk acceptances. Univariate analysis showed that gender and age weresignificantly correlated with aggression, risk acceptance and risky behaviours.Overall, younger (age 17-29) and male participants were shown to be moreaggressive, had higher risk acceptance and exhibit more risk-taking behavioursand are therefore more prone to traffic accidents. Additional study by Pawlowski et.al (2008)on every day risk-taking found that males were more likely to perform a riskytask, especially when it was perceived to be risky. Specifically, it wasobserved that single males tend to pursue riskier strategies than singlefemales to accomplish daily tasks. More importantly, male participants weremore likely to pursue risky actions when there were females present in thevicinity, but the females did not exhibit similar effects in male presence.

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Theauthor suggested that male’s tendency to be greater risk-takers is a sociallyinfluenced feature of the human male psychology and is a form of “showing off” usedthroughout human evolution to attract potential female mates. 

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