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Is it all for some booty?

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Guys may flirt with risk more to score a mate
Men use it as a tactic to show off strengths, attract ladies, study suggests

By Melinda Wenner

updated 3:51 p.m. ET, Fri., Dec. 19, 2008

Men make up four-fifths of the world's skydivers and two-thirds of all rock climbers, and a new study suggests they do it for more than just the thrill.

Men may flirt with risk because they think it will help them score women.

Evolutionary psychologists have long believed that women are choosier about men than men are about women. It's not just because girls want to make life difficult for guys; it's because, at least historically, women have had to pick men who could provide for them and their children.

This pressure forces males to work harder to prove their worth to females and out-compete other guys in the running. Social psychologists at Florida State University wondered: Could risk-taking be one of the ways in which men show off their strength, ambition and confidence to potential lovers?

To find out, they asked 134 undergraduate male and female psychology students to participate in an experiment. They wanted to see whether men would take more risks if they were "in the mood" and if the men thought there were beautiful women around for them to woo.

The researchers showed students pictures of either 10 attractive or 10 unattractive faces of the opposite sex. Then they asked the subjects how sexually motivated they felt — that is, how interested they were in finding new sexual partners.

One-by-one, each of the students then played a succession of 11 rigged blackjack hands; since the researchers knew what cards the participants had, and all were given the same cards, the scientists could compare how the subjects played each hand. (Asking for a "hit" indicated a risky move, since the player risked going over 21, while "staying" was considered safe.) Finally, after the game, the researchers tested the students' memories for the faces they had seen before the game.

The men were much more likely to take blackjack risks if they were sexually motivated and had seen images of beautiful women before they played. The guys were also more likely to take risks if they saw attractive female faces and remembered them afterwards — even if they weren't looking for a new partner — perhaps because the faces made more of an impression on them and ramped up their sexual desire. The behavior of the female students, however, wasn't affected by what they felt, saw, or remembered.

"The bottom line is that risk-taking can be a tool that men use to show potential mates that they have desirable qualities such as confidence or ambition," said study co-author Michael Baker, a doctoral student in social psychology at Florida State.

Interestingly, the study found that guys who saw attractive faces but weren't sexually motivated did not take more risks than guys who saw unattractive faces. Baker speculates that guys only take risks if they stand to benefit from them, because risk-taking does come with a cost — after all, a bad skydiving or rock climbing experience could keep a guy from reproducing ever again.

"If men are not motivated to pursue a mate or there are no potential mates present, then the potential benefits of a risky display are less likely to outweigh the potential costs," Baker told LiveScience.

In other words, if a guy doesn't really want a new relationship, then his safest bet may be just to stay home and watch football.

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Everything men do it for sex, even with other men.

But I take great issue with a study using blackjack as the model. The math for when to hit and stay is well defined and readily available. Rather than just measuring men's tendency towards risk, it's measuring their knowledge of blackjack probability.

(anyone want to make a crack about FSU academics now?)

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What about women?



They're getting into a sport in which there are nine men for every woman, i.e. stacking the odds in their favor. :D

Blues,
Dave



Odd being the key word... :P
Stupidity if left untreated is self-correcting
If ya can't be good, look good, if that fails, make 'em laugh.

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If skydiving is what a guy does to get booty.. he's in the wrong sport!!!... bar hunting is a lot easier.. and a whole lot cheaper! although not free, but for the price of a few drinks and a little conversation.... ;)
If flying is piloting a plane.. then swimming is driving a boat. I know why birds sing.. I skydive.

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Interestingly, the study found that guys who saw attractive faces but weren't sexually motivated did not take more risks than guys who saw unattractive faces. Baker speculates that guys only take risks if they stand to benefit from them, because risk-taking does come with a cost — after all, a bad skydiving or rock climbing experience could keep a guy from reproducing ever again.



And that's what we call jumping to a conclusion!* Guys only take risks when they want to get laid? I hope he's not going to include sweeping generalisations like that in his thesis.





* "Jumping," geddit? Hehe, jumpi... I'll get my coat.





[Edit] On second thought, I may be being uncharitable. It is a media report, the chance of a misquote is therefore high!
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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Misquoting aside, I can't even find the original publication on pubmed. :)
Searching for "Baker, M" gives all of twelve results, some indeed in social studies.
Searching for just "Baker" doesn't list anything close to the article in the first fifty results.
Closest I got was : "Predicting synergistic effects of resources and predators on foraging decisions by juvenile Steller sea lions":D
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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Well friend, some men may not care about the women they choose as a mate. Others are far more careful. Take me for instance. I dated a real hottie when I was in high school. Thought about getting serious. But when I met her scaggly (extremely thin) looking brother, I got to admit, it gave me pause. Subconciously I didn't want to have a son with that kind of build.

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I don't think I've ever heard "wow your such a great skydiver I want to sleep with you" from any women referring to any guy at any DZ I've been to.

On the other hand, you'll definitely hear, "Dude, she's a skydiver, and a hot chick -- I wish I could sleep with her!" from skydiving guys. ;)
-Patrick

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Take me for instance. I dated a real hottie when I was in high school. Thought about getting serious. But when I met her scaggly (extremely thin) looking brother, I got to admit, it gave me pause. Subconciously I didn't want to have a son with that kind of build.



For a second there I thought you were going to say that you decided to go bang her brother instead and it turned you gay.

-Michael

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Is it all for some booty?"
........................


DZ booty boys are groundhogs.
For them the action is on the ground not in the air.

Thankfully most people go skydiving just for the fun of it and would even do it especially if booty didn't exist.:S

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Too many distractions around a DZ for booty. But I will say there seems to be a number of those who can't skydive. Are kind of scared to skydive but love to be called skydivers. These are the ones I'm thinking of when reading this article.
"Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman's apparel is clearly asking to be mangled."

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