Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

James Craig, Dulcie Stevenson, Ernest Owen

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The present study investigated the possible relationship between the degree of risk-taking propensity and the choice of vasectomy as a preferred method of birth control. Three sample groups, vasectomy seeking men, their wives, and men using contraceptive measures other than permanent sterilization, were tested for degree of risk-taking. The instrument used to measure risk-taking propensity was The Desire For Certainty Test (Brim, 1955). In addition, selected demographic variables were analyzed for the two groups of males to assure a relatively greater degree of homogenietv among these two male sample groups. A Dunnett's Test was used to assess the difference between the means of the vasectomy seeking men and their wives and between the vasectomy men and the non-vasectomy seeking men. The results of the analysis showed that the risk-taking propensities of the vasectomy seeking men and their wives were significantly different. The females were found to be more inclined to take a risk than their husbands. The risk-taking propensities of vasectomy seeking men were not, however, significantly different from those of men choosing other means of contraception. The results of this study may have been affected by the multidimensional nature of the risk-taking construct. Until the issue of multidimensionality is adequately dealt with, research in the area of risk-taking propensity will very likely continue to yield contradictory results.


Health Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences