Risk-aversion and testosterone levels are intrinsically linked.
You know how men are always thinking with their wangs? And they do stupid things for love like spend money, fight really scary dudes and sometimes steal airplanes? Well, it turns out that the recklessness and derring-do may not originate from the phallus after all.
According to USA Today, women with higher levels of testosterone are less risk-averse that those with lower testosterone. The University of Chicago and Northwestern conducted a joint study, on 500 MBA students comparing behavior between women with high testosterone and men. Students played a game giving them either a guaranteed payout or lottery in which they could get more than in the payout.
Women with greater amounts of testosterone were seven times as likely to go for the high risk/high reward choice as women with average or low levels of man-juice coursing through their dainty veins. Dudes and chicks with relatively low levels of testosterone were far likelier to choose the safe route time and time and time again.
Perhaps the most very interesting finding was that married students were likely to have low testosterone and the corresponding aversion to financial risk.
Researchers could take this in a few interesting directions. One, they could try to correlate marital contentedness and likelihood of infidelity with testosterone levels; I'm guessing that some part of the mid-life crisis is a testosterone issue. Two, they could try to correlate sexual aggressiveness in women to levels of liquid macho, because so-called "female Viagra" is almost always a testosterone cocktail. Read: When Can You Get The Female Viagra?
It's incredibly interesting to think that even something as seemingly innate to personality as risk-assessment is largely governed by our chemistry. What a reminder about our animal nature, right?