A new study argues that gender is not the issue. Researchers at Northwestern and the University of Chicago found women who have higher-than-average levels of testosterone are just as willing as men to take risks, at least when it comes to their jobs.
“Higher-testosterone women are more prone to take risk, and this attitude is correlated with riskier career choices,” says Paola Sapienza, associate professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and co-author of the study with Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago. The paper will appear in a forthcoming issue of Economic Sciences.
Individuals with equally high testosterone levels demonstrated the same level of risk-taking. “It was not an issue of their gender,” says Sapienza, adding that high-testosterone women were nearly seven times more likely to take risks than females with lower hormone levels. (The 90 percent of women and 31 percent of men with low testosterone levels were equal in their risk-aversion.)