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Sex differences in the attractiveness of hunter‐gatherer and modern risks

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Abstract

When compared with other demographics, young males are more likely to take a variety of risks (like skateboarding, using drugs) and use risky behaviors to attract romantic partners. This study extended research on risk by assessing the attractiveness of 101 different kinds of risks performed by males and females. As predicted, factor analysis revealed that the attractiveness of diverse risks clustered around two major dimensions: risks like those faced by hunter‐gatherer humans (e.g., handling fire and dangerous animals) and risks that are uniquely modern (e.g., driving without seat belts). Additionally, results confirmed that modern risks were rated as unattractive for both sexes, whereas hunter‐gatherer risks were rated as especially attractive when performed by males. Discussion focuses on cultural and evolutionary explanations for the link between risk and attractiveness.

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... Knowledge of characteristics predicting relationship formation may be conducive if one wishes to understand the mechanisms promoting relationship formation and pregnancies. From an evolutionary perspective, one can expect factors such as demographics, personality and substance use to predict who forms romantic relationships (Buss 2007(Buss , 2009; Petraitis et al. 2014). Individual characteristics may affect the likelihood of forming a romantic relationship in three main ways. ...
... It is conceivable to assume that substance use could relate to both mate value, preferred mating strategy and the number of opposite sex competitors in ones' milieu. Substance use may increase mate value through signalling a willingness to take risks (Petraitis et al. 2014). A willingness to take risks may be perceived as attractive, specifically in men, as it may signal a better capacity to provide for a partner and offspring (Bassett and Moss 2004;Farthing 2005;Henderson et al. 2005). ...
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The current study aimed to identify demographic, personality and substance-use characteristics associated with forming romantic relationships. Data were collected by two online surveys among students in Bergen, Norway, during the autumn of 2015 (T1) and by a follow-up survey that was conducted 12 months later (T2). The current sample consists of the 2404 participants who reported being single at T1 (mean age 23.2) and who participated in both waves of the survey. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. Separate analyses were conducted for both sexes and for the entire sample of participants. High extroversion scores predicted relationship formation. For women, having a child/children, higher scores on neuroticism, alcohol use and illegal substance use positively predicted relationship formation, while for men, age and openness were positive predictors. The study contributes with several novel findings. In general, characteristics related to a need for support predicted romantic relationship formation among women, while characteristics associated with increased resource acquisition potential predicted relationship formation among men. The general pattern of findings is in line with established evolutionary theories such as the sexual strategies theory and the parental investment theory.
... Äîáû÷à aeå è óäåðaeàíèå ðåñóðñîâ íà ïðîòÿaeåíèè ïðîäîëaeèòåëüíîãî ïåðèîäà â aeèçíè ðîäà Homo áûëà ñîïðÿaeåíà ñ ðèñêàìè.  ìàêñèìàëüíîé ñòåïåíè ýâîëþöèîííî îáîñíîâàíà áîëüøàÿ ñêëîííîñòü ìóae÷èí ê ôèçè÷åñêîìó ðèñêó, ïîñêîëüêó ýòî ïîâåäåíèå ÷àñòî âêëþ÷àåò â ñåáÿ ñïîñîáíîñòè èëè íàâûêè, ñâÿçàííûå ñ òàêèìè ÷åðòàìè, êàê ñèëà è àòëåòèçì [Farting, 2005;Petraitis et al., 2014]. Êåëëè è Äàíáàð [Kelly, Dunbar, 2001] ïîêàçàëè, ÷òî aeåíùèíû ïðåäïî÷èòàþò ìóae÷èí, ñêëîííûõ ê ðèñêó, ìóae÷èíàì, èçáåãàþùèì ðèñêà, îñîáåííî â êà÷åñòâå êðàòêîñðî÷íûõ ñåêñóàëüíûõ ïàðòíåðîâ. ...
... Limitations with that study include its cross-sectional design and its lack of a comparison group consisting of non-Tinder users. When exploring possible effects of Tinder use on romantic relationship formation, it is important to control for individual differences in demographics, personality, mental health, and substance use as such characteristics predict romantic relationship formation (Shaver and Brennan, 1992;Buss, 2007;Meyer and Paul, 2011;Petraitis et al., 2014;Erevik et al., 2019). Thus, demographics, personality, mental health, and substance use may act as third variables in the relationship between Tinder use and romantic relationship formation if they predict Tinder use as well. ...
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The current paper aims to investigate if Tinder use predicts romantic relationship formation 1 year later and to identify demographic, personality, mental health, and substance use covariates in the relationship between Tinder use and romantic relationship formation. Data were collected by online surveys (two waves) among students in Bergen, Norway. The first survey was administered during fall 2015 (T1). The follow-up took place 1 year later (fall 2016, T2). The sample consisted of the 5253 participants who reported to be single at T1. The surveys included questions about Tinder use, demographics, personality (the Five-Factor Model’s personality traits), mental health (i.e., symptoms of depression and anxiety), alcohol use, and use of illegal substances. Bivariate comparisons were conducted to assess differences in demographics, personality traits, mental health, and substance use between Tinder users and non-Tinder users. Further, crude and adjusted binary logistic regressions were employed to investigate if Tinder use at T1 predicted romantic relationship formation at T2, when controlling for relevant covariates. Tinder users differed from non-users on almost all included variables. Compared to non-users, Tinder users were younger and more likely to be men, born in Norway, childless, and non-religious. Tinder users had higher scores on extroversion and agreeableness and lower scores on openness compared to non-users. Further, compared to non-users, Tinder users reported more symptoms of anxiety and were more likely to have hazardous, harmful, or dependent alcohol use and to report use of illegal substances. Compared to non-users, Tinder users had a higher likelihood of having formed a romantic relationship at T2 in the crude model (p < 0.05) and when controlling for demographic (p < 0.05) and mental health (p < 0.05) covariates. However, when controlling for personality, substance use, and all included covariates, the difference in likelihood of romantic relationship formation was no longer significant. In conclusion, the current results suggest that Tinder users have a higher likelihood of forming romantic relationship longitudinally, but that this increased likelihood can be explained by Tinder users’ personality and substance use characteristics.
... The present study focused on physical risk-taking as male display, because this behavior often includes abilities or skills that are more revealing about fitness-related traits-such as strength and athleticism-than other (modern) types of risk (Farthing 2005;Petraitis et al. 2014). We investigated the men's and women's assessments of male risk-taking behavior in a sample of Russian men and women. ...
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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 aggression. 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 investigations of risk-taking behavior and cultural characteristics of masculinity ideology.
... Very little research, however, has examined whether and how women perceive different types of risky behaviors enacted by men. One study (Petraitis et al. 2014) asked women to rate the attractiveness of men who were taking two types of risks: "modern-day" risks (e.g., not wearing a seat belt) or risks faced by our ancestors (e.g., handling/ dealing with wild animals). Women rated men who took more risks as more attractive but only if those risks were in the ancestor category. ...
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Male risk-taking behavior is associated with personality traits and correlates with hormone titers, notably for testosterone (T) and cortisol (C). Yet, these influences may be stronger in some individuals due to context or profession in which risk-taking occurs. We examine this possibility by investigating relationships of personality, aggression, and sensation seeking with T and C together with anthropometric measures in high risk-taking men: Russian alpinists (n = 55) and members of the Russian Special Forces (n = 33). They provided saliva samples before and after viewing a ~5 min video of aggressive male encounters and completed surveys after this task. After viewing the video, T increased in alpinists but decreased in Special Forces, and C increased in Special Forces. Alpinists scored higher than Special Forces in neuroticism and openness whereas Special Forces scored higher than alpinists in extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Verbal aggression, anger, hostility, experience seeking, disinhibition, and boredom susceptibility were higher in alpinists than in Special Forces. Our findings suggest behavioral differences in high risk-taking men, influenced by profession-related individual differences in sensation seeking and hormonal response to challenges.
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Engaging in risky behaviors is a sexual signalling strategy that men use to procure mates. The present study investigates men’s preferences for engaging in risky behaviors (along with women’s preferences for their male partner’s risky behavior) within dating couples. We investigated associations between relationship length, self-perceived attractiveness, sociosexuality orientation, and preference for risky behaviors in a sample of 256 couples. Results indicated that men had stronger preferences for risky behaviors than their partner’s ideal preference. Furthermore, relationship length was associated with a decline in women’s preference for their partner’s risk-taking, but not men’s preference for their own risk taking. Self-perceived attractiveness was negatively associated with risk preference, and sociosexuality orientation was not directly related to risk preference. Female preferences for less intense male risky behaviors could reflect the need of paternal investment which is required for offspring care. Decreased male sexual signalling could account for lower preferences of risky behaviors in females who are involved in longer lasting romantic relationships.
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In 1967 the Kibish Formation in southern Ethiopia yielded hominid cranial remains identified as early anatomically modern humans, assigned to Homo sapiens 1, 2, 3, 4. However, the provenance and age of the fossils have been much debated5, 6. Here we confirm that the Omo I and Omo II hominid fossils are from similar stratigraphic levels in Member I of the Kibish Formation, despite the view that Omo I is more modern in appearance than Omo II1, 2, 3. 40Ar/39Ar ages on feldspar crystals from pumice clasts within a tuff in Member I below the hominid levels place an older limit of 198 14 kyr (weighted mean age 196 2 kyr) on the hominids. A younger age limit of 104 7 kyr is provided by feldspars from pumice clasts in a Member III tuff. Geological evidence indicates rapid deposition of each member of the Kibish Formation. Isotopic ages on the Kibish Formation correspond to ages of Mediterranean sapropels, which reflect increased flow of the Nile River, and necessarily increased flow of the Omo River. Thus the 40Ar/39Ar age measurements, together with the sapropel correlations, indicate that the hominid fossils have an age close to the older limit. Our preferred estimate of the age of the Kibish hominids is 195 5 kyr, making them the earliest well-dated anatomically modern humans yet described.
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This report presents preliminary U.S. data on deaths, death rates, life expectancy, leading causes of death, and infant mortality for the year 2003 by selected characteristics such as age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Data in this report are based on a large number of deaths comprising approximately 93 percent of the demographic file and 91 percent of the medical file for all deaths in the United States in 2003. The records are weighted to independent control counts for 2003. For certain causes of death such as unintentional injuries, homicides, suicides, and respiratory diseases, preliminary, and final data differ because of the truncated nature of the preliminary file. Comparisons are made with 2002 final data. The age-adjusted death rate for the United States decreased from 845.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2002 to 831.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2003. Age-adjusted death rates decreased between 2002 and 2003 for the following causes: Diseases of heart, Malignant neoplasms, Cerebrovascular diseases, Accidents (unintentional injuries), Influenza and pneumonia, Intentional self-harm (suicide), Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids. They increased between 2002 and 2003 for the following: Alzheimer's disease, Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, and Parkinson's disease. Life expectancy at birth rose by 0.3 years to a record high of 77.6 years.
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Across many real-world domains, men engage in more risky behaviors than do women. To examine some of the beliefs and preferences that underlie this difference, 657 participants assessed their likelihood of engaging in various risky activities relating to four different domains (gambling, health, recreation, and social), and reported their perceptions of (1) probability of negative outcomes, (2) severity of potential negative outcomes, and (3) enjoyment expected from the risky activities. Women's greater perceived likelihood of negative outcomes and lesser expectation of enjoyment partially mediated their lower propensity toward risky choices in gambling, recreation, and health domains. Perceptions of severity of potential outcomes was a partial mediator in the gambling and health domains. The genders did not differ in their propensity towards taking social risks. A fifth domain of activities associated with high potential payoffs and fixed minor costs was also assessed. In contrast to other domains, women reported being more likely to engage in behaviors in this domain. This gender difference was partially mediated by women's more optimistic judgments of the probability of good outcomes and of
Gender differences in risk taking: A meta-analysis Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost
  • J P Htm Byrnes
  • D C Miller
  • W D Shafer
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Deaths: Preliminary data for 2003. National Vital Statistics Reports Center for Disease Control and Prevention Demo-graphic subgroup trends for various licit and illogic drugs
  • D L Hoyert
  • H Kung
  • B L L D Smith
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  • J G Schulenberg
Retrieved August 18, 2006, from http://journal.sjdm.org/ vol1.1.htm Hoyert, D. L., Kung, H., & Smith, B. L. (Feb-ruary 28, 2005). Deaths: Preliminary data for 2003. National Vital Statistics Reports, 53, 1–48. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 23, 2005, from http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS/data/ nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_15.pdf Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2006). Demo-graphic subgroup trends for various licit and illogic drugs, 1975–2005. (Monitoring the Future Occasional Paper no. 63).
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