Men compete with each other over all kinds of things, from cars to sports to physical stature. And, as it turns out, straight men also try to one-up other guys (especially more attractive ones) by taking bigger risks.
In a new Australian study, straight dudes took bigger money risks after being shown pictures of shirtless male Abercrombie & Fitch models.
"Men want to appear more desirable to women, and having more money is one way to do so," one of the study's authors, Australian psychologist Eugene Chan, explained to New Scientist. "Taking financial risks is one quick way to get more money, even if it might not be a sure thing."
In an experiment conducted on 820 men and women, participants were shown pictures of male Abercrombie models, female models or "average" people. They were then given the choice of getting $100, or taking a bet where they had a 90% chance of getting nothing and a 10% chance of getting $1,000.
Straight men who looked at the photos of Abercrombie models were more likely to choose the riskier bet. This effect was particularly pronounced among men who were in a "mating mindset."
Why? The risk-taking behavior might (you guessed it) have a little something to do with our evolutionary past.
"Men are more likely to take greater financial risks when they have a mating mindset because they are particularly interested in making themselves desirable to women as a spouse or partner," Chan told The Huffington Post in an email. "What does this say about male mating behavior? It says that there are some innate processes that have evolved over time -- behaviors that we don’t want to admit but we also can’t easily shake off."