- Almost half of men under 30 are afraid of the dark (42%)
- The research unveiled that when faced with somewhere pitch black, nearly three quarters (73%) of young men feel terrified, wary, nervous, that it makes their heart race or that they simply try to avoid it at all costs
- Young men are twice as likely to sleep with the light on than young women
- When there is a bump in the night, men under 30 are 3 times more likely to scream than females of the same age
For decades, experts have believed that females are more afraid of the dark than women. However, new research out today reveals that the UK’s young men may not be as brave as we think, with almost half of British males (42%) under 30 admitting they are scared of the dark. Plus our frightened men are more likely than women to sleep with a light on and are twice as likely to sleep with the light on every night.
The study* was commissioned by Warner Bros. Entertainment to mark the release of Lights Out in UK cinemas on Friday. The film follows a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark.
The research unveiled that when faced with somewhere pitch black, nearly three quarters (73%) of young men feel terrified, wary, nervous and that it makes their heart race or that they simply try to avoid it at all costs.
And when there’s the threatening sound of a bump in the night? Well, our knights in shining armour are an astonishing three times more likely to scream than young women.
The research also revealed that while men of all ages sometimes claim they don’t feel the need to check out night-time noises (when in reality they are actually too scared to check) this is a lot more likely to be the case for under 30s, with 43% admitting to lying about the reason for not checking a noise in the dark.
And if that noise really was something to be worried about, the study also found that one in four young men think their partner would be more likely to confront a burglar. A further 20% of males would be prepared to confront the burglar – but only if their partner came along too. That’s almost half of all young men (46%) who wouldn’t take on the responsibility of confronting an intruder by themselves.
When evaluating the research, Psychologist Dr Becky Spellman said “As young men’s phobia of the dark kicks in when night falls, it may appear that the terror begins when the lights go out. In reality, the fear is actually due to danger being higher at night, which relates to the adrenaline of men feeling pressured to protect themselves and loved ones during this time. Young men are particularly fearful as subconsciously, their confidence of being able to defend themselves is usually lower than older males, due to a lack of experience of successfully fighting off threats.”
Although you may never have guessed that the young British men of today would even flinch at the thought of turning the lights out, 20% of them are too afraid to even admit they are scared of the dark. But all is not lost as another one in five believes it isn’t anything to be ashamed of.
The research revealed that once a man hits the age of 30, the less afraid of the dark he becomes. Our fearful under 30s also believe that age 30 is the point at which you should stop admitting your fear of the dark.
Did you ever wonder why your Dad always seemed so brave when you were growing up?
Lights Out is in UK cinemas August 19
* Warner Bros. Entertainment used the independent online research company Ginger Publicity ltd who surveyed 1,000 British people, between the 8th August and 10th August 2016.