Men And Thrill Seeking: Study Finds Guys Have Grown Timid, Are Less Likely To Try Extreme Activities

By Philip Ross on August 30, 2013 12:26 PM EDT

thrill seeking
Are men becoming wimpier? One study says men today are less likely to try extreme activities than they were 35 years ago. (Photo: Reuters)

Modern men are less inclined to "boldly go where no man has gone before." Apparently, they're more disposed to put their feet up, pop open a bag of potato chips and watch "Battlestar Galactica" for the third time through. According to a new study from Scotland, men have become more gutless and less thrill seeking over the years, and show less interest in extreme activities.  

Like Us on Facebook

Researchers from St. Andrews University studying behavioral differences between men and women say that men are more timid now than they were in the 1970s, and are less likely to try things like parachuting or scuba diving.

The team asked men today to respond to a questionnaire called the Sensation Seeking Scale. They then compared their answers to how men responded 35 years ago.

"Sensation-seeking is a personality trait reflecting the desire to pursue novel or intense experiences, even if risks are involved," the researchers note. "Questionnaire measures of sensation-seeking ask people whether they would like to try adventurous activities, such as extreme sports or travelling to remote places ... and whether they dislike dull or repetitive activities, such as standing in queues."

What they found was that men in the 1970s were more likely than women to say they'd be interested in trying dangerous physical activities, like parachuting, scuba diving or mountaineering. The researchers, led by Dr. Kate Cross of the University's School of Psychology and Neuroscience, noted that men today felt differently.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, says that men scored just about the same as females in expressing interest in extreme activities.  

So why do researchers think men have grown weary of thrill-seeking?

"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," Cross told The Scotland Herald.

Researchers also believe that shifts in cultural norms could account for men's declining interest in thrill-seeking.

The study wasn't without its caveats, however. For one, the questions presented in the questionnaires were out-of-date. For example, men in the study were asked about skiing, which is no longer seen as an extreme activity.

Read more from iScience Times:

Women And Funny Guys: Are Females Genetically Hardwired To Find Sense Of Humor In Men Sexy? [STUDY]

Is Facebook Depressing? Study Suggests That World's Most Popular Social Network Makes Users Sad [REPORT]

Lie About Sex: How Do Men And Women Report Sexual History Differently?

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Sponsored From Around the Web

    ZergNet
Follow iScience Times
us on facebook RSS
 
us on google
 
Most Popular
INSIDE iScience Times
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet  Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)