Risking it All for Sex: Gender Differences in Risk Taking Behaviour as a Consequence of Intrasexual Competition

Magi-Prowse, Madeleine (2013). Risking it All for Sex: Gender Differences in Risk Taking Behaviour as a Consequence of Intrasexual Competition Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Magi-Prowse, Madeleine
Thesis Title Risking it All for Sex: Gender Differences in Risk Taking Behaviour as a Consequence of Intrasexual Competition
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Shelli Dubbs
Total pages 74
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Females have largely been neglected in the risk taking literature. Risk taking is thought to be a male trait, adapted to compete against other males (intrasexual competition) for access to mates. The following thesis proposes that women also have an incentive to compete intrasexually to attain a mate, and thus an incentive to take risks. However the types of risk women take will differ from that of men. Specifically, intrasexual competition will drive women to take sexual and appearance risks, and drive men to take financial, physical and sexual risks. Three hundred and seventy-two participants completed an online questionnaire which measured their individual levels of intrasexual competition using Buunk & Fisher’s (2009) Intrasexual Competition Scale, and measured their willingness to engage in a range of financial, physical, sexual and appearance risks. It was found that overall males were more willing to take physical and sexual risks, and women were more willing to take more financial and appearance risks. Furthermore it was found that people with higher levels of intrasexual competition were more willing to take physical, sexual and appearance risks than those with lower levels of intrasexual competition. However there was no association found between levels of intrasexual competition willingness to take financial risks. The following findings were made within each gender: Within men, those with higher levels of intrasexual competition were more willing to take physical and sexual risks than those with lower levels of intrasexual competition. Within women, those with higher levels of intrasexual competition were more willing to take physical, sexual, and appearance risks than those with lower levels of intrasexual competition. The theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.
Keyword gender differences in risk taking
intrasexual competition

 
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Created: Mon, 07 Jul 2014, 11:32:39 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology