liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Males risk more when Attractive Females present

And this causes them to both perform more dramatically, and crash harder, as evidenced in a new study conducted on skateboarders ranging from their teens to 35. Obviously, we say. It turns out that these same males had higher levels of testosterone in their saliva when observed by an attractive female researcher, compared to when they were watched by a male researcher.



The Presence of an Attractive Woman Elevates Testosterone and Physical Risk Taking in Young Men

Richard Ronay1 and William von Hippel1
1 University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

Correspondence: Richard Ronay, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 Australia Email:

The authors report a field experiment with skateboarders that demonstrates that physical risk taking by young men increases in the presence of an attractive female. This increased risk taking leads to more successes but also more crash landings in front of a female observer. Mediational analyses suggest that this increase in risk taking is caused in part by elevated testosterone levels of men who performed in front of the attractive female. In addition, skateboarders' risk taking was predicted by their performance on a reversal-learning task, reversal-learning performance was disrupted by the presence of the attractive female, and the female’s presence moderated the observed relationship between risk taking and reversal learning. These results suggest that men use physical risk taking as a sexual display strategy, and they provide suggestive evidence regarding possible hormonal and neural mechanisms.

Key Words: risk taking • evolutionary psychology • decision making • social neuroscience • neuroscience

Social Psychological and Personality Science, Vol. 1, No. 1, 57-64 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/1948550609352807



Killer Whale Testosterone monitored at Sea World
recent killing of a training by a killer whale
probably due to mating behavior during a high testosterone period
in a particularly high testosterone male
Tags: animals, evolution, performance, risk, sports, testosterone, violence

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