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Attractive women make men more willing to take risks

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Scientists put skateboarders to the test and find that when asked to perform tricks in front of a pretty woman, they are more likely to take risks.

Attention all Friday night bar-goers: Pretty women make men take more risks. Australian scientists made this conclusion after studying testosterone levels in skateboarders.

The experiment was pretty simple: 96 guys around 22 years old were asked to perform various tricks on their board. Each skateboarder did his tricks in front of a man and a pretty woman and had to make a quick decision to follow through with the trick or risk falling flat on his face. Then the scientists measured hormone levels of the skateboarders.

Livescience reports:

"These findings suggest that, for men, the adaptive benefits gained by enticing mates and intimidating rivals may have resulted in evolved hormonal and neurological mechanisms that facilitated greater risk-taking in the presence of attractive women," [wrote the authors of the study, Richard Ronay and William von Hippel, of the University of Queensland in Australia].

Previously, other researchers have also found that men take risks to woo women. Undeniably, testosterone levels are linked to mating. In fact, a woman is more likely to seduce a man with the natural smell given off when she is most fertile. And not surprisingly, a man's level of testosterone will increase when he is attracted to the woman.

The studies go beyond the mating game. Previous research has shown that men are more likely to make risky financial decisions, thanks to hormone levels. The scientists showed that testosterone influenced the markets on Wall Street after all.

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech, Technewsdaily.com, Techstartups.com and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure