Male Idiot Tendency

Despite this being April Fools’ Day, today’s post is not a joke.

In order to write this blog, I spend a lot of time reading scientific research papers.  Normally, these papers have titles such as “Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer for restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the Campylobacter jejuni flagellin gene.”

Imagine my surprise to come across a peer-reviewed academic paper in the British Medical Journal titled “Sex differences in idiotic behavior.”  The four British authors, including an orthopedic trauma surgeon, wanted to know whether males or females are more likely to exhibit idiotic risk-taking behavior.

I am not making this up.  You can view the actual paper here.

The authors studied 20 years’ worth of data from the “Darwin Awards.”  These awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by eliminating themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chance of long-term survival.  Examples include the would-be terrorist who posted a letter bomb in the mail.  When the letter was returned for insufficient postage, the man decided to open it.

Out of 318 validated Darwin Award winners, 282 recipients—almost 89 percent—were male.  This appears to reinforce an unproven hypothesis known as male idiot theory.  MIT suggests that “men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.”

As a male, I am relieved that I now have a scientific excuse for my own periodic behavior.  No angry comments or feedback, please!


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