When it comes to love, men are the biggest risk takers

How far would you go to get the attention of the one you love?

According to a recent study it seems that given a romantic opportunity, men are willing to take big risks in getting attention from the opposite sex, and what's more it's all down to evolution.

From Romeo to , Tristan to Tarzan, fiction is inundated with men who are willing to face a multitude of trials, troubles and tribulations when it comes to winning the affections of the one they love. But it appears that the act of taking risks to impress women has a strong foundation in real life, where the inclination to face dangers for the opposite sex has been prevalent since the dawn of man, and is still evident to this day.

Risk-taking behaviour has (in part) been evolved to enhance an individual's ability to attract a mate finds a recent study from the Journal of Risk Research:

According to the authors, "in the evolutionary past, our ancestors were faced with a hazardous environment where they were forced to take greater risks in order to find shelter, food and . Thus, individuals who played it safe in that they did not take any risks at all, were unlikely to survive".

So, it appears that men have inherited this to face dangers for women from our risk-friendly . However, in a modern age where these previous problems are all but extinct, men increasingly look to other forms to showcase their willingness to take risks.

The study looks at three examples of risk taking behaviour in men and women:  taking (i.e. ), gambling and . In all three tests, men were seen to show a greater inclination to take the inherent risks involved once a romantic element has been induced. Women however showed no increased desire to take unnecessary risks. 

Of course, note that authors, whilst these activities may have perceived benefits in the short term, the long-term effect of these modern day risks are potentially devastating, something that male readers may want to consider in the run-up to Valentine's Day!

More information: Greitemeyera, T. et al. Romantic motives and risk-taking: an evolutionary approach, Journal of Risk Research. ISSN: 1366-9877 (Print), 1466-4461 (Online) DOI:10.1080/13669877.2012.713388

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Not all risk is created equal

Aug 28, 2007

A camper who chases a grizzly but won't risk unprotected sex. A sky diver afraid to stand up to the boss. New research shows that not all risk is created equal and people show a mixture of both risky and non-risky behaviors. ...

Recommended for you

Report advocates improved police training

Aug 29, 2014

A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

Meaningful relationships can help you thrive

Aug 29, 2014

Deep and meaningful relationships play a vital role in overall well-being. Past research has shown that individuals with supportive and rewarding relationships have better mental health, higher levels of subjective well-being ...

Learning to read involves tricking the brain

Aug 29, 2014

While reading, children and adults alike must avoid confusing mirror-image letters (like b/d or p/q). Why is it difficult to differentiate these letters? When learning to read, our brain must be able to inhibit ...

User comments