Sex, Drugs, and Reckless Driving: Are Measures Biased Toward Identifying Risk-Taking in Men?
Social Psychological and Personality Science
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 generated, more feminine items, even when risks are matched. We conclude that there is confirmation bias in risk-taking measurement.
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
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record.
Published online 19 September 2017
- Psychology