Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yet Another Strange Statistic Of The Week

Caucasians who live in rural areas are "America's prime demographic to accidentally die during ill-advised, testosterone-fueled stupidity!"  The abstract of "Living Dangerously: Culture of Honor, Risk-Taking, and the Nonrandomness of 'Accidental' Deaths" published in Social Psychological and Personality Science states,
Two studies examined the hypothesis that the culture of honor would be associated with heightened risk taking, presumably because risky behaviors provide social proof of strength and fearlessness. As hypothesized, Study 1 showed that honor states in the United States exhibited higher rates of accidental deaths among Whites (but not non-Whites) than did nonhonor states, particularly in nonmetropolitan areas. Elevated accidental deaths in honor states appeared for both men and women and remained when the authors controlled for a host of statewide covariates (e.g., economic deprivation, cancer deaths,temperature) and for non-White deaths. Study 2, likewise, showed that people who endorsed honor-related beliefs reported greater risk taking tendencies, independent of age, sex, self-esteem, and the big five.
The article contends,
research suggests that men (White men, in particular) in the southern and western United States who have been influenced by an ideology of honor are especially driven to achieve this goal (e.g., Cohen et al., 1996; Cohen & Nisbett, 1994; Nisbett et al., 1995). Consequently, men from culture-of-honor regions might be more prone to engage in risky behaviors that sometimes lead to death, relative to men from nonculture-of-honor regions, because such behaviors signify that one possesses the ‘‘manly’’attributes of strength and courage (Bosson et al., 2009).
South Dakota isn't mentioned in the article.  I don't know if South Dakota has a culture that has been "influenced by an ideology of honor" but I see my students as being far too willing "to engage in risky behaviors that sometimes [may] lead to death."

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