Men become accident-prone at the sight of a beautiful woman, scientists said yesterday. Research shows that just looking at an attractive female makes them more likely to indulge in 'physical risk-taking which results in embarrassing failure or even injury. The change in behaviour is triggered by a surge in the male hormone testosterone which makes men 'throw caution to the wind, according to psychologists at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. They made the finding after a studying young male skateboarders. In tests, the team used both male and female observers to watch how the men performed their manoeuvres at a local park. Results revealed that they 'took more risks when they were observed by an attractive female than when they were observed by a male. 'This increased risk-taking led to more successes but also more crash landings in front of the female observer. Saliva tests confirmed they had 'elevated testosterone levels while a good-looking woman was around. Professor Bill von Hippel, who led the study, said there was an evolutionary reason for the behaviour, explaining it was a 'display strategy aimed at impressing a potential mate. Professor von Hippel said: 'Historically, men have competed with each other for access to women. DM and the winners of those competitions are the ones who pass on their genes to future generations. 'Risk-taking would have been inherent in such a competitive mating strategy. Our results suggest that displays of physical risk-taking might best be understood as hormonally-fuelled advertisements of health and vigour aimed at potential mates, and signals of strength, fitness, and daring intended to intimidate potential rivals. However, showing off to the opposite sex could also be detrimental to survival in modern life, he warned. The professor added: 'Other instances of physical risk-taking that contribute to mens early mortality, such as dangerous driving and physical aggression, might also be influenced by increases in testosterone brought about by the presence of attractive women. Professor von Hippels study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. -Daily Mail