The vast majority of Darwin Award winners are men, and this lends support to the idea that “men are idiots and idiots do stupid things”, according to a new study.
In a study entitled “The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour” and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), researchers examined the winners of Darwin Awards over the last 20 years to determine whether men or women were more likely to perform idiotic risk taking behaviour.
The study notes that “sex differences in mortality and admissions to hospital emergency departments have been well documented” where men are more at risk than women of arriving at hospital with accidental or sporting injuries, or as road accident fatalities.
However, the researchers describe a a different class of risk associated with the Darwin Awards “where the apparent payoff is negligible or non-existent, and the outcome is often extremely negative and often final”.
To “win” a Darwin Award, an individual must have eliminated themselves from the gene pool in such an idiotic manner that their action ensures one less idiot will survive.
Past Darwin Awards winners outlined in the study include:
- The thief attempting to purloin a steel hawser from a lift shaft, who unbolted the hawser while standing in the lift, which then plummeted to the ground, killing its occupant
- The 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
- The terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter
Using statistical analysis, the researchers found that 88.7% of Darin Award winners were male – a statistically significant (P<0.0001) difference between the sexes. The scientists concluded:
“This finding is entirely consistent with male idiot theory (MIT) and supports the hypothesis that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.”