You’re Making His Life Safer!

“Men also exhibit, on average, higher levels of sensation-seeking and risk-taking in a wide variety of settings. The basis for this well-established sex difference has a hormonal and neurochemical basis – it is not simply a product of socialisation or experience.” – Sex differences in driving and insurance risk

As a group, men take far more and far bigger risks than women. There are risk-taking women and cautious men, but both are far from the norm. 

The Risk Taking Brain

Ask anyone who works in insurance, medicine, or rescue work and they will tell you men are bigger risk takers than women. But why? Part of it is cultural. Boys and men egg each other on to do risky things, women not so much. Additionally, we look at men and women differently when they take the same risk, with the men being seen more positively. 

But there are also brain-based reasons for this gender difference. The part of the brain that “worries” is bigger in women, which inhibits risk taking. It seems men also get a bigger “reward” than women when they take a risk and “win”. So men take more risks than women because they have less holding them back and more urging them to go for it.

The quote at the top is about auto insurance. In the USofA men pay more for insurance than women, and young men pay far more. This is based on who has the most accidents. In most states, a man’s insurance rate drops when he gets married. This is also based on accident rates. Married men have fewer accidents because they drive more safely. They drive more safely because they take fewer risks.

In men, marriage reduces risk-taking behaviour on the road. Other studies have found a similar effect in all kinds of things, including how men eat, how likely we are to go to the doctor, how we invest, how much alcohol we drink, and how likely we are to use illegal drugs. 

The bottom line is you make his life safer just by being married to him. Maybe you give him a reason to live, or maybe you have a calming influence. Maybe it’s because he’s no longer trying to impress women by doing risky things, or because he has less time with his crazy friends. I think it’s because God made us this way. It’s just one more reason a good marriage is a great blessing.

~ Paul – I’m XY and my wife certainly adds to my sanity.

Sex-Related Differences in Neural Activity during Risk Taking: An fMRI Study | Oxford Academic
Car insurance is cheaper if you’re married, new study shows | 


Links may be monetised
Image Credit: © Tony |

Shop Amazon ♦ Shop to give links page
We’re donation supported Thanks for your help!
Where we’re going Contact us about speaking

11 Comments on “You’re Making His Life Safer!

  1. “Additionally, we look at men and women differently when they take the same risk, with men being seen more positively.” Is this true?! That’s so WEIRD. I myself tend to have an equally low opinion of anyone taking foolish risks, regardless of gender (but perhaps I am unusual in that regard). It honestly never occurred to me to think others might feel differently. What a strange way to look at things!

    I’m not sure that (on average) women take fewer risks than men, but rather different ones. Many of the risks women take are things that wouldn’t even be considered risky for men. For example, few men worry that if they go out jogging alone, that they’ll get catcalled or followed home by some creep (even if they wear very little). Women DO have to worry about that (and worse) but many still choose to jog anyway and chance it. For women, the simple act of daring to exist unaccompanied in a public space is a VERY big risk! And it’s one most have to take every day, in some form.

    • @Amazing Ace – I saw a number of studies on this. Most were about business – when a man takes a business risk he is an innovator, when a woman takes the same risk she is careless or doesn’t understand. It’s a clear double standard.
      It’s also a male driven double standard. Men are impressed with men who take risks, but less so with women do take risks. Women are more balanced, but still tend to see men’s risks as better or less bad.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…You Know You Could Upset Her. So….My Profile

      • Ah, I see. It wasn’t very specific before as to what kind of risk you meant, so thank you for clarifying that. Not that I understand the reasoning any better; it still seems like a strange, alien way of thinking to me, but at least I can understand that it’s coming from a place of sexist double standards.

        Do you think that it might be indirectly sexist against men as well? I’d like to hear your opinion. I’m just speculating as to possible motives here, but I feel like maybe people give men more of a pass to take foolish risks because men are thought to be kind of stupid anyway (which obviously I’m NOT saying is true, but that’s the stereotype), whereas women are expected to know better. I, on the other hand, apparently expect everyone to know better, and thus was completely unaware of the double standard before today.

        • @Amazing Ace – I think sexist double standards generally hurt both men and women. (Just as pretending gender differences don’t exist hurts both.)
          Men certainly give men a pass (but then women do the same with women).
          Beyond double standards and expectations, there is some biology behind why men are bigger risk takers. In days gone by this was not just a good thing, it was necessary for survival. In some settings today it’s still a good thing, but in others it gets in the way of making the best choices.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…Don’t Focus on the Fight, Go DeeperMy Profile

          • Oh, interesting. So, you think risk taking is an evolutionary thing in men that’s starting to outlived it’s usefulness? An interest idea, indeed; I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone else say anything quite like it before.

            I heartily agree, sexist double standards most definitely DO hurt everyone, regardless of gender! That’s one of the big reasons society still need feminism. As a movement, it’s true that it has its problems, but by and large it’s still a force that is actively trying to fight against the sexism and double standards that hurt men just as much as women. Overall, I think emphasizing the ways in which men and women are similar has done a lot more good for the world and gender relations than pretending that each gender comes from a different planet.

            Thanks for letting me have your opinion, it’s appreciated. ☺

            • @Amazing Ace – Those who think everything is about evolution (I’m not one of them) have been suggesting this for years. Men evolved to fight sabre tooth tigers and hunt while women evolved to care for children and gather. I think God designed us with these differences for very much the same reasons. For most of history, these differences served men and women well. Now, not so much.
              I think we all benefit from knowing the truth. That would be both how men and women are similar and how we differ. Emphasising either of those means not speaking the other enough, and that hurts everyone.
              Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Why She Says No to Sex And What You Can Do About ItMy Profile

  2. When a woman goes jogging and risks her safety, she is pursuing a healthy body. When a man takes a corner too fast, he’s pursuing the thrill of flirting with death and surviving.

    It may be in the wiring, but that doesn’t mean it’s smart. “Maybe it’s because he’s no longer trying to impress women by doing risky things…” Why do men think women are impressed by this kind of behavior?

    • @StandingTall – Studies have found women are NOT impressed with such behaviour. But other men are, and they feed the lie that it impresses women too.
      I saw one study of men in VR gear being asked to cross a virtual bridge that was very dangerous. Men took more risks when there was a virtual woman on the other side of the bridge rather than a virtual man. Kind of scary how our wiring can control us if we don’t learn to think past it.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…You Know You Could Upset Her. So….My Profile

  3. Flip this around and you have me and my husband. You said risk-taking women and cautious men are out of the norm…then I guess my husband and I are way out of the norm, because that’s us. In our case, he’s the one who makes my life safer, and though I sometimes feel like I’m becoming boring, or a little caged, ultimately it’s a very good thing. I’d a thousand times rather have him, and the life I do now, then the crazy risky way I lived before him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: