MONTREAL, May 27 (UPI) — The more “macho” a man is, the more risks he is likely to take while driving, researchers in Canada found.
Julie Langlois, a graduate student at the University of Montreal, said she found aggressive behavior is deeply rooted in the male stereotype.
“Aggressive driving allows some men to express their masculinity, which could serve as a predictor of dangerous driving,” Langlois said in a statement. “Cars are often a vehicle by which character traits are expressed and preventing risky behavior is an issue of public safety.”
Langlois used the Auburn Differential Masculinity Inventory — a questionnaire of 60 statements such as “men who cry are weak,” or “generally speaking, men are more intelligent than women.”
The researchers asked 22 men sitting in a driving simulator to “catch that car!” but didn’t tell them to disobey the law. The study subjects knew others had done the task in 7 minutes.
The study found some participants caught the car within 5 minutes, while some caught the car in 12 minutes and took fewer risks.
“Some men develop a passion for driving that can verge on the obsessive,” Langlois said. “They consider cars to be an extension of themselves and they become extremely aggressive if they are honked at or cut off.”
Langlois presented the findings at the annual conference of the Association francophone pour le savoir.
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