"... anxiety is an affective mechanism that reduces behavioral engagement in risky and potentially harmful activities (Maner at al., 2007). The associated sex difference can be viewed as an enhanced risk-avoidance mechanism in women - they do not need to risk as much as men to reproduce in natural contexts (Betzig, 2012) - or conversely the suppression of the sensitivity of this system enables men to better compete in risky contexts. Framed differently, anxiety is the obverse of the emotional composure that enables men to be successful in highly threatening, competitive contexts. Relatedly, depression is typically associated with social withdrawal and self-assessment as being low status and thus has the potential to compromise status striving (Price, Sloman, Gardner, Gilbert, & Rhode, 1994). Both anxiety and depression can nevertheless manifest at times as impulsive behavioral aggression in some men (Caspi et al., 2014), but not as the calm use of strategic aggression.
As a result, the reproductive consequences for anxious, depressed, or generally neurotic men are predicted to be more severe than for equally or more strongly affected women. Results from associated studies are mixed but generally consistent with the prediction that anxiety and depression negatively influence men's reproductive prospects and either do not affect or more weakly affect those of women (Berg et al., 2014; Gurven et al., 2014; Jokela, Alvergne, Pollet, & Lummaa, 2011; Reis, Dörnte, & von der Lippe, 2011)."
Evolution of Vulnerability
David C. Geary (2015)