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Researchers at the University of Exeter devised a survey to see if people think men are the bigger risk-takers.
In the study, published in the journal
Social Psychological and Personality Science
, Dr Thekla Morgenroth asked if measures of 'risk taking' are biased towards men.
Morgenroth argued that previous studies which assessed whether men or women were the more willing to take risks used examples that were biassed.
Morgenroth and their team claim that by focusing on behaviours that were more normative for men, the results overestimated gender differences.
Using the 'masculine' and 'feminine risks' given in Morgenroth's study,
created this quiz to see which sort of risks you're more likely to take.*
Was it accurate? We weren't so sure either, and neither were the team.
In Morgenroth's study, the conventional, masculine risk behaviours were perceived to be more risky than new, feminine risks, even if the actual danger level was matched.
Some of the feminine conventions the researchers suggested included cooking a difficult dish for a social occasion, extreme dieting, playing Netball, and starting an online petition.
There were designed to be activities they suspected participants would associate with women.
More masculine risks included gambling, and 'walking home alone at night'.
Surveying 99 adult participants in the USA, Morgenroth found that men were perceived to be more likely to engage in the 'masculine' risks and less likely in 'feminine' risks, and vice versa.
Risks that were 'financial' were not considered to be significantly more male or female.
The team concluded that studies of risk are guilty of confirmation bias that asserts men are bigger risk-takers, because the examples given are more masculine.
, the study has been criticised by Joe Herbert, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, for using 'unvalidated questions'.
*Disclaimer: This is not necessarily an endorsement of the idea these risks are one or the other.
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