Men take more risks when it comes to love

A new study has shown that men are the bigger risk takers when it comes to romance; a characteristic researchers suggest can be explained by our evolutionary past.

by Psychologies

We know the fairy tale well; the noble prince puts his life at risk to slay the dragon for the love of the beautiful princess. In today's society, chivalry on such scale is rarely witnessed, but a new study* has found that these fairy tales may have some weight behind them when it comes to what we will do for love.

The research showed male participants took greater risks during behaviour such as gambling and driving simulators when a romantic element was introduced. Female participants, on the other hand, did not increase the amount of risk they were willing to take at any point.

The researchers suggested that our evolutionary past could explain why men take these risks when romance is involved. Our ancestors faced a number of dangers in their everyday survival, and had to take risks in order to find food and shelter. Those males who could provide these necessities would be attractive sexual partners and providers for offspring, and so men who were willing to take greater risks would be more successful in sexual and romantic relationships, raising their offspring and in turn passing on the risk-taking character.

Unfortunately, this trait could work against men, as modern day risk-taking behaviours such as gambling could have damaging effects on the male's ability to look after their loved ones.

* Taylor & Francis (2013, February 11). When it comes to love, men are the biggest risk takers. www.tandfonline.com   To subscribe to Psychologies magazine today, click here.

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