Scarcity of women makes men more impulsive and reduces savings

   Jan 13, 1:35 pm

Washington, Jan 13 (ANI): The perception that women are scarce leads men to become impulsive, save less, and increase borrowing, a new study has claimed.

According to new research from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, sex ratios influence financial decisions

"What we see in other animals is that when females are scarce, males become more competitive. They compete more for access to mates," Vladas Griskevicius, the lead author of the study, said.

"How do humans compete for access to mates? What you find across cultures is that men often do it through money, through status and through products," Griskevicius said.

To test their theory that the sex ratio affects economic decisions, the researchers had participants read news articles that described their local population as having more men or more women.

They were then asked to indicate how much money they would save each month from a paycheck, as well as how much they would borrow with credit cards for immediate expenditures.

When led to believe women were scarce, the savings rates for men decreased by 42 percent. Men were also willing to borrow 84 percent more money each month.

In another study, participants saw photo arrays of men and women that had more men, more women, or were neutral. After looking at the photographs, participants were asked to choose between receiving some money tomorrow or a larger amount in a month.

When women were scarce in the photos, men were much more likely to take an immediate 20 dollars rather than wait for 30 dollars in a month.

Griskevicius said that the participants were unaware that sex ratios were having any effect on their behaviour. Merely seeing more men than women automatically led men to simply be more impulsive and want to save less while borrowing more to spend on immediate purchases.

"Economics tells us that humans make decisions by carefully thinking through our choices; that we're not like animals," Griskevicius said.

"It turns out we have a lot in common with other animals. Some of our behaviours are much more reflexive and subconscious. We see that there are more men than women in our environment and it automatically changes our desires, our behaviours, and our entire psychology," he added.

The study has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (ANI)

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