Thursday, January 31, 2008

Male commuters walk on the wild side

Here's an interesting item from Science Magazine comparing bus-riders living dangerously to strutting peacocks:

Oxford psychologists Robin Dunbar and colleagues observed 1,000 men and women waiting for the bus over a three month time period. Their more pedestrian conclusion was that men were more likely to cut it close with respect to catching the bus, often arriving at the bus stop at the absolute last moment before departure.

More dramatic, however, was the jaywalking behavior of the bus-riding men. When observed by women, the scoff-laws were much more likely to make risky dashes through traffic on their way to the stop. The article doesn't say whether or not near death by squashing ruffled the riders' feathers, but the investigators did compare the feats to mating displays.


JeanMac said...

I think they've seen too many movies with the hero rushing last moment to grab bus or train. Same with the traffic dashes - a macho touch of stupidity - the feathers def. would be crushed!

Anonymous said...

The researchers obviously did not include your ex-sister-in-law, her daughter, and your brother in the sample.

Cilicious said...

I've crossed a million streets with my husband, and he will tend to calmly stalk from one sidewalk to the other, while I scuttle worriedly across like the proverbial clucking chicken.
I can't tell you how many times I've had male pedestrians, especially young guys, virtually dare me to hit them as they jaywalk their way through town. One time I took a real chance and just drove on through when this guy pointedly crossed in front of my vehicle; he didn't have to jump to get out of the way, but I was definitely cutting it close. I shouldn't have done it. But it was worth taking the chance just to see the shock on Macho Man's face.