|Young men are not as adventurous as their fathers a generation ago Photo: Ocean/Corbis|
It found that males have become less willing to engage in thrill-seeking activities over the past 35 years.
Research conducted in the late 1970s found that men were 48 per cent more likely than women to be involved in adrenaline-fuelled sport.
However, today men are only 28 per cent more likely than women to participate in adventures activities, such as parachuting, scuba diving or mountaineering.
The researchers claim this is an indication of dwindling male appetite for thrill-seeking activities rather than an increase in women interested in these sports.
Dr Kate Cross, who conducted the study at the University of St Andrews, said that the results indicate that young men have lost the spark needed to get involved in exciting activities.
‘The decline in the sex difference in thrill and adventure-seeking scores could reflect declines in average fitness levels, which might have reduced people’s interest in physically challenging activities,’ she said.
A loss of interest in thrill-seeking activities could be also be attributed partially to a decrease in gender-related differences.
‘This interpretation is consistent with evidence that participation in college sports is becoming more gender balanced across time in response to concerted efforts to encourage female sports participation,’ said the study.
Dr Cross said an alternative explanation for the results is that the questions designed in the 1970s could now be out-of-date.
Skiing, for instance, may no longer be viewed as a novel or intense activity.
The study also showed that sex differences in other areas have not changed across time.
For example, men consistently reported higher average scores than women for disliking dull or repetitive activities, and for enjoying challenging social situations.
The research has been published the journal Scientific Reports.