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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 and Skidmore did studies on masculinity stress level. They found five mechanisms of masculinity ...

Section: Mens health risks

Risk-taking - alcohol consumption behavior

  Research on beer commercials by Strate (Postman, Nystrom, Strate, And Weingartner 1987; Strate 1989, 1990) and by Wenner (1991) show some interesting results. In beer commercials, the ideas of masculinity (especially risk-taking) are presented and encouraged. The commercial focuses on a situation where a man is overcoming an obstacle in a group. The men will either be working hard or playing hard. For instance the commercial will show men who do physical labor such as cowboys, construction ...

Section: Mens health risks

Risk-taking - media encouragement

  According to Arran Stibbe, men's health problems and behaviors can be linked to the socialized gender role of men in our culture. In exploring magazines, he found that they promote traditional masculinity. The magazine celebrates "male" things such as liking guns, fast cars, and fast women and reading ...

Section: Mens health risks

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