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Meta-analysis comparing risk-taking
tendencies of male and female (Byrne, 1999) illustrated that male participants
were more likely to take risks than female participants. The study showed that
male participants lacked discernments in risky situations and tend to take more
risks even when it clearly had negative consequences. The opposite was true for
females, they were disinclined to take risks even in innocuous situations when the
benefits outweighed the risks. The author hypothesized that the difference in
risk-taking tendencies between males and females can be attributed to different
developmental and social influences imposed upon different genders from
childhood, leading to divergences in the developments of self, social
environment and risk perceptions. These factors resulted in different
expectations and values between genders and either independently or
collectively influence individuals during risk assessment and decision-making
processes, leading to observed differences in risk-taking behaviours between

Another study by Turner and McClure (2003)
showed that male scored higher than female in aggression, thrill-seeking and
risk acceptances. Univariate analysis showed that gender and age were
significantly correlated with aggression, risk acceptance and risky behaviours.
Overall, younger (age 17-29) and male participants were shown to be more
aggressive, had higher risk acceptance and exhibit more risk-taking behaviours
and are therefore more prone to traffic accidents.

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Additional study by Pawlowski (2008)
on every day risk-taking found that males were more likely to perform a risky
task, especially when it was perceived to be risky. Specifically, it was
observed that single males tend to pursue riskier strategies than single
females to accomplish daily tasks. More importantly, male participants were
more likely to pursue risky actions when there were females present in the
vicinity, but the females did not exhibit similar effects in male presence. The
author suggested that male’s tendency to be greater risk-takers is a socially
influenced feature of the human male psychology and is a form of “showing off” used
throughout human evolution to attract potential female mates. 

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