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Risk-taking


Men, significantly more so than women, tend to drink and drive, not to wear a seat belt, to be aggressive and fight, to drive fast and dangerously. Men are also more likely to be involved in a homicide, to be involved in a motor vehicle accident and other accidents. Men are in fact three times more likely to die of accidents than females. Men make up 93% of workplace deaths. While many argue that this is because dangerous jobs like mining are dominated by men, others argue that at least part of the difference is due to masculine risk-taking behavior.

Men generally take more risks with their health than women. All these behaviors are acceptable for men and are to some extent deemed masculine. Men are twice as likely to die from cancer than women are. Men are more likely to smoke, not wear sunscreen, eat unhealthy, and not exercise.

The reasons for this willingness to take risks are widely debated. Some argue that the behavior is mostly or completely caused by social expectations and acceptance of risky behavior in males. Others believe that men, especially young men, are genetically predisposed to be less risk-averse than women because, in terms of a group's reproductive capacity, the loss of a young man is much less damaging than the loss of a young woman, which would seem to present evolutionary pressures towards men being more predisposed to risk and danger. Some also cite how widespread and culture-independent certain aspects of masculine identity are, implying that if masculinity was purely learned, different societies in different times would have completely different ideas about the masculine gender role, which has historically remained relatively consistent.


Other articles from the section: Mens health risks

Independence and invulnerability - masculine gender role stress

  Some men feel stressed by societal pressure to act masculine. These men feel that they have to prevail in situations that require physical strength and fitness. To appear weak, emotional, or sexually inefficient is a major threat to their self-esteem. To be content, these men must feel that they are decisive and self-assured, and rational. Masculine gender role stress may develop if a man feels that he has acted unmanly.  In 1987, Eisler ...

Section: Mens health risks

About mens health risks

  Mortality rates for all of the 15 leading causes of death for the total population are higher for males than females in America. Men die almost seven years earlier than women. Men are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, to suffer a traumatic brain injury, and to die from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Men are less likely to exercise and are more likely to be overweight. They are also less likely to take nutritional supplements, such as vitamins, and to ...

Section: Mens health risks

Independence and invulnerability - coping strategies

  Standards of masculinity can not only create stress in themselves for some men, they can also limit these men's abilities to relieve stress. Men and women have different ways that they appraise stressful situations and cope with them. Some men appraise situations using the schema of what is an acceptable masculine response rather than what is objectively the best response.  Men are limited to a certain range of ...

Section: Mens health risks

News

December 20, 2009

Wii, Xbox 360 and Other Video Games Offer Some Benefits

Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation, and other video games are hot on holiday gift lists, but some parents wonder whether these games offer any benefits or are detrimental to kids. The results of a new study may put some minds at ease, while ...

December 18, 2009

Should You Be Shoveling Snow?

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, and soon you will have to think about shoveling snow. But should you be the one doing the work? Who should and should not shovel snow, and how can you do it safely?  Every winter, approximately 1,200 Americans ...

December 17, 2009

Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, ...