Physically-attractive males increase men's financial risk-taking

Eugene Y. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Prior research has examined how sexual opposite-sex stimuli impact people's choices and behaviors. However, it is largely unknown whether sexual same-sex stimuli also do so. This research reports an intriguing phenomenon: men who see attractive males take greater financial risks than those who do not. An evolution-based account is proffered and tested across four experiments. In evolutionary history, men have faced greater intrasexual competition in attracting women as a mating partner. Thus, when the average heterosexual man sees males who are more physically-attractive than he is, he is motivated to increase his desirability as a mating partner to women, prompting him to accrue money, and taking financial risks helps him to do so. This research concludes by discussing the implications of the present findings for men today who are constantly bombarded by not only sexual opposite but also same-sex others, such as images that are commonly used in advertising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-413
Number of pages7
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Financial risk-taking
  • Intrasexual competition
  • Money
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Sexual same-sex images

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