redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Young men are less adventurous than they were a generation ago, primarily because they are less motivated and in worse physical condition than their fathers, researchers from the University of St. Andrews claim in a new study.
According to Nick Collins, Science Correspondent for The Telegraph, research conducted in 1978 reported men were 48 percent more likely than women to express interest in “thrill and adventure seeking” activities.
However, the times have changed, as Dr. Kate Cross and colleagues from the Fife, Scotland-based institution’s school of psychology and neuroscience explained recently in the journal Scientific Reports.
These days, males are only 28 percent more likely than females to participate in challenging, adrenaline-fueled activities like mountain climbing or skydiving. Dr. Cross’s team believes the change indicates a decline in men’s appetite for these extreme activities, and not an increase in women’s desire to participate in them.
They also suggest the loss of interest in these types of activities could be attributed partially to a decrease in gender-related differences in behavior and partially to decreasing fitness levels when compared to the 1970s, said Tristan Stewart-Robertson of The Scotsman.
“The interpretation is consistent with evidence that participation in college sports is becoming more gender balanced across time in response to concerted efforts to encourage female sports participation,” the authors wrote, according to Stewart-Robertson. ““However, our analyses shows that the pattern of results is not due to an increase in female scores across time, but rather a decline in male scores.
“Women could be showing a greater willingness to engage in thrill and adventure-seeking relative to men over time, while changes in absolute scores are being influenced by other factors, such as average fitness levels,” they added. “The decline in the sex difference in thrill and adventure-seeking scores could reflect declines in average fitness levels, which might have reduced people’s interest in physically challenging activities.”
Dr. Cross’s team also discovered men were more likely than women to be impulsive and also tended to become bored easily, Collins said. They used a sensation-seeking scale that ranged from safe to thrill-seeking, and found no difference between the sexes when it came to low-risk activities such as trying new foods, Stewart-Robertson added.