Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Kenneth DeBono




risk, behavior, gender, substance abuse, sex


The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between gender, self-monitoring and risk taking behavior. Studies on gender differences and risky behavior have shown that women perceive certain behaviors as being more risky than men do, and that men are more likely to take risks than women as a result of perceived gender norms. The current study predicts that males who are high self-monitors, and are more susceptible to behave in accordance with the male norm of being a risk taker, will be more likely to partake in risky behaviors than low self-monitor males. Additionally, it is predicted that high self-monitor females, who are likely to reflect the female norm of being low risk takers, will be less likely to partake in risk behavior than low self-monitor females. Data from 158 Union College students was collected and assessed for self-monitoring levels, personality types and risk-taking behaviors. Areas of risk taking behavior included alcohol use, drug use, promiscuity, unsafe sex and drunk driving. The findings are discussed as well as the potential limitations of the study and ideas for future research.