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28th July 2010. Cambridge, UK: During the past fifty years it has become generally accepted that the primary reason men and women perceive risks differently is socially produced and not biologically based (or ‘natural’)(1). This gender specific perception of risk has become particularly stark in attitudes to health. Women who have traditionally taken the lead in raising children have regarded threats to health as being important. Men, on the other hand, have taken on roles in the workplace and military where ignoring risks to their own health and well-being have proved advantageous. Now, according to emerging social trends, for example the growing use of the Internet for personal healthcare, could see changes in the way both sexes view risks to their health – with important implications for the healthcare sector.

It was research carried out in the late 1950s (2) that showed that if women were taken out of the family environment and, like men, made decisions collectively they became less risk averse. The results were backed up by further research in the late 1990s (3) that looked at the growing proportion of small businesses started by women in North America and put forward the idea that gender differences with respect to risk taking may no longer exist. It remains to be seen if, as anecdotal evidence suggests, women also become less risk averse when it comes to their own and their family’s health. While it is unlikely women will, as some men do already, ignore their health completely, the loss of a generation of family carers would be catastrophic for the healthcare sector. As Peter Kruger, founder of Alphadaughters points out; “Family carers act as a shadow healthcare service, providing billions of pounds worth of free care each year.” highlights the important role online healthcare services provide in creating a forum where both genders can gain an awareness of healthcare issues and verbalise concerns over medical issues. “By creating forums where men can discuss their own and their family’s health outside traditional male groupings, it is possible we will see a closing of the gender gap in perceived health risks and, as a consequence, more men will take on the role as the family carer”, says Kruger.

The Report “Alpha Moms Become Alpha Daughters” is available from

1 Gender Differences in Risk Perception, Per E. Gustafson 1998

2 Sex Differences and Judgement Processes, Wallach and Kogan 1959

3 Sex Differences and Risk Taking Propensity of Entrepreneurs, Meirer and Masters 1998

About helps companies and organisations develop business models and marketing strategies that will enable them to reach the influential ‘Alpha Daughter’ consumer. It also develops innovative new services to help family carers who are providing support for elderly parents.

For further details contact:

Toby Jackson
Steinkrug Publications

+44 (0)1223 208926

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Steinkrug Publications Ltd in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Business & Finance, Medical & Pharmaceutical, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit