To the delight of some out there, a team of British researchers has discovered that men are bigger idiots than women and they have a connotation for it – Male Idiot Theory.
Researchers from Newcastle University decided to test the theory by examining sex differences in “idiotic risk-taking behaviour” among Darwin Award nominees over a 20-year span.
The Darwin Awards commemorate those who die not in accidental deaths but in idiotic accidents involving “astonishingly stupid methods,” the team wrote in the annual issue of the British Medical Journal.
Worthy candidates include a man stealing a ride home by hitching a shopping trolley to the back of a train, only to be dragged two miles to his death before the train was able to stop.
There is also a terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter to disastrous result.
Of the 413 Darwin Award nominations, 332 were independently verified and confirmed by the Darwin Awards committee.
Of these, 14 were shared by male and female nominees – usually overly adventurous couples in compromising positions – leaving 318 valid cases for statistical testing.
Of these 318 cases, 282 Darwin Awards were awarded to males and just 36 awards given to females.
“Males thus made up 88.7 percent of Darwin Award winners and this sex difference is highly statistically significant,” the authors noted.
This finding is entirely consistent with male idiot theory (MIT) and supports the hypothesis that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.
“It is puzzling that males are willing to take such unnecessary risks – simply as a rite of passage, in pursuit of male social esteem, or solely in exchange for ‘bragging rights’,” the authors pointed out.