Peter Todd, a behavioral psychologist at Indiana University, suspects the difference between the sexes boils down to the basic risk-versus-reward systems that have been part of our biological wiring for thousands of years. For women, Todd explains, the priorities are to protect one’s reproductive role and to care for offspring, which outweighs any inclination to attract potential mates by exhibiting bold behavior.
But for men, Todd says, the risk of getting struck by lightning could be outweighed by the reward of proving to other men—and potential female mates—that they’re not afraid of getting struck by lightning. This is particularly true for young men, who have the most to gain by impressing others, thereby raising their status as attractive, daring, healthy mates in the dating pool. And then, zap!
Image: flickr user Kevin Miller, used under Creative Commons license.