Ladies, science is on our side. A recent study published by the British Medical Journal proves that women are the winners of the gene pool… at least, when it comes to idiotic behavior. This study contributes scientific evidence to the “male idiot theory,” a term coined to explain the hypothesis that “men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.”
It’s not that we haven’t known this all along. In fact, past studies have proven that men are more likely to be admitted to hospital emergency rooms and ultimately make less of an attempt to assess risk than women. This study goes further than others have, to systematically understand the differences between men and women in risk taking behavior.
According to the research, “idiotic risks are defined as senseless risks, where the apparent payoff is negligible or non-existent, and the outcome is often extremely negative and often final.” Does this sound like a synonym for “bragging rights” to anybody else?
The Darwin Award is given each year to those who die in a way that “their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive.” Not exactly something to put on the resume.
Idiotic deaths are not to be confused with accidental deaths. For example, a 2009 award went to the 23-year-old armed robber who disguised himself by spray-painting his face gold. The toxins in the paint killed him before he even had a chance to flee the scene.
Like I said, idiotic, not accidental.
Like all studies, researchers did note some limitations. For example, women might be more likely to nominate men for the award, which would then skew the results. Alcohol also may play a role when looking into sociobehavioral differences, seeing as alcohol often times makes men feel “bulletproof.”
Data was collected from 20 years of Darwin Award winners – like the paint bandit – in order to analyze which sex represented the majority. Of the 318 cases analyzed, 282 men received the prestigious Darwin Award, leaving only 36 awards to females. That’s a whopping 88.7% of male winners. But then again, “winner” is a relative term here.