New research suggests gender plays a role in these decisions because men tend to organize the world into distinct categories whereas women see things as more conditional and in shades of gray.
One possibility is that societal gender roles promote more absolute, black-and-white views in men and more detailed, complex views in women. Traditionally, cultures have rewarded males for being decisive and proactive, even if it means jumping to conclusions. In contrast, females are socialized to be more thoughtful and receptive to others’ views, even if it means being more self-critical. This socialization not only affects behavior and personality; it also colors our perceptions. For instance, women perceive greater risk across many real and hypothetical scenarios relative to men, partly because risk-taking is a central and esteemed component of the masculine gender role.