Journal article

Sex, Drugs, and Reckless Driving: Are Measures Biased Toward Identifying Risk-Taking in Men?

Thekla Morgenroth, Cordelia Fine, Michelle K Ryan, Anna E Genat

Social Psychological and Personality Science | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2018


We investigated whether risk-taking measures inadvertently focus on behaviors that are more normative for men, resulting in the overestimation of gender differences. Using a popular measure of risk-taking (Domain-Specific Risk-Taking) in Study 1 (N = 99), we found that conventionally used behaviors were more normative for men, while, overall, newly developed behaviors were not. In Studies 2 (N = 114) and 3 (N = 124), we demonstrate that differences in normativity are reflected in gender differences in self-reported risk-taking, which are dependent on the specific items used. Study 3 further demonstrates that conventional, masculine risk behaviors are perceived as more risky than newly genera..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by an internal competitive grant from the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne, awarded to Cordelia Fine, who is also grateful for the support of the Women's Leadership Institute Australia. This work was also supported by an internal competitive grant from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, awarded to Thekla Morgenroth and Michelle Ryan. Michelle Ryan was also supported by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.