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Article

Assessment of Male Physical Risk-Taking Behavior in a Sample of Russian Men and Women

Evolutionary Psychological Science. 2018. Vol. 4. No. 3. P. 314-321.
Apalkova J., Butovskaya M., Bronnikova N., Burkova V., Shackelford T. K., Fink B.

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 aggres- sion. 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 investiga- tions of risk-taking behavior and cultural characteristics of masculinity ideology.