Study supports the theory that 'men are idiots'

December 11, 2014

The theory that men are idiots and often do stupid things is backed up by evidence in the Christmas issue of The BMJ. The findings are based on an analyses of sex differences in idiotic behaviour.

Sex differences in risk seeking behaviour, emergency hospital admissions, and mortality are well documented. Males are more likely to be admitted to an emergency department after accidential injuries, more likely to be admitted with a sporting injury, and more likely to be involved in a fatal road traffic collision.

However, little is known about in idiotic risk taking behaviour. So researchers in north east England decided to test "male idiot theory" (MIT) that many of the differences in risk seeking behaviour may be explained by the observation that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.

They reviewed data on idiotic behaviours demonstrated by winners of the Darwin Award over a 20 year period (1995 to 2014), noting the sex of the winner. To qualify, nominees must improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race using astonishingly stupid methods.

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; and the terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter.

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% of Darwin Award winners, and this sex difference is highly statistically significant, say the authors.

This finding is entirely consistent with male idiot theory (MIT) and supports the hypothesis that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.

However, this study has limitations, add the authors. For example, women may be more likely to nominate men for a Darwin Award or the sex difference may reflect differences in alcohol use between men and women.

Despite this, 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," say the authors.

They believe male idiot theory deserves further investigation, and, "with the festive season upon us, we intend to follow up with observational field studies and an experimental study - males and females, with and without alcohol - in a semi-naturalistic Christmas party setting," they conclude.

Explore further: Male and female brains aren't equal when it comes to fat

More information: BMJ, www.bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.g7094

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47 comments

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Tektrix
2 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2014
Let the fireworks begin!
PsycheOne
3.3 / 5 (12) Dec 11, 2014
How about counting the percentage of males with patents? Just as one particular example.

Hey, it's cool. Dump on males all you want. Men invented tampons and lipstick and bras and everything else women love. And men built every major industry in the world. Yes, men take risks. Sometimes they fail. Then you get to laugh your head off.
hurricane25
2.7 / 5 (12) Dec 11, 2014
What a sexist piece of trash study.

Men have innovated and created 80% of all innovations. If that makes us idiots..Well, something is seriously wrong with the people making the study.
saposjoint
3.7 / 5 (13) Dec 11, 2014
The editors of this aggregator are certainly idiots for including this garbage.
phorbin
4.8 / 5 (10) Dec 11, 2014
How about counting the percentage of males with patents? Just as one particular example.

Hey, it's cool. Dump on males all you want. Men invented tampons and lipstick and bras and everything else women love.


Tampons have been used for thousands of years. Earle Haas probably didn't know.

Look to Sumer for lipstick. You can make a passable lip gloss with alkanet.

As for bras... 1480 according to a 2008 find... certainly not likely to be men doing the inventing then.

Christine Hardt had the first bra patent.

Huns
3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2014
The correct title for this study would be something like, "Men more likely to be selected for Darwin Awards than women by a margin of __%."

It would be fair to say that more men "earn" Darwin Awards.

It would also be fair to say that live births are about 51% male, but those who survive to adulthood are only 49% male, due to factors such as increased risk-taking behaviors, the perception that beating a defenseless boy unconscious is "less" offensive than doing the same to a girl, etc.

Constructing something called "male idiot theory" illustrates in 1,000-point font that whoever is behind this has an agenda to push. In other words, this is one or more peoples' private conceits, that they will surely defend with all the vigor that people defend such conceits with, given vent.

Imagine if some group of people decided to coin the "female stupid bitch theory." Would THAT article be published here? HMMM???????????
imido
Dec 11, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
kelman66
5 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2014
" semi-naturalistic Christmas party setting" LOL

obviously tongue-in-cheek, all pseudo-sciency and stuff
imido
Dec 11, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
PacRim Jim
3 / 5 (2) Dec 11, 2014
Imagine a female science and technology.
Yikes !
Vietvet
5 / 5 (14) Dec 11, 2014
" semi-naturalistic Christmas party setting" LOL

obviously tongue-in-cheek, all pseudo-sciency and stuff


Someone finally got it!
Scroofinator
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2014
Men are more likely to be compelled by ego than by reason so this comes as no surprise. Just look at all the sexist babble already posted...
kasoyu
5 / 5 (8) Dec 12, 2014
Imagine the rage of feminists if the title said "Study supports the theory that 'women are idiots'"
teambonobo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 12, 2014
Now for a better overview of the genders: the speech is called "Is there anything good about men?" by R. Baumeister
Gigel
5 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2014
Excellent! Now I don't have to make up excuses anymore, there is a scientific explanation that offers support!
akarki
not rated yet Dec 12, 2014
some things have to be good about man...but they kept women centuries away from study, just for family related occupation, so yes, we can not accept the arguments about inventions, and prizes.
marcush
5 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2014
Obviously tongue in cheek but males do of course get involved in more risky behavior than females. Presumably sexual selection has something to do with it.
Ensign_nemo
4.3 / 5 (4) Dec 12, 2014
Nobel Prize Awards by Gender in each Category
1901 - 2014

Nobel Prize

Female

Male

Number Female
% of Total Number Male
% of Total
Chemistry 4 8.5% 165 20.2%
Economics 1 2.1% 74 9.1%
Literature 13 27.7% 98 12.0%
Peace 16 34.0% 87 10.6%
Physics 2 4.3% 197 24.1%
Physiology or Medicine 11 23.4% 196 24.0%
Total 47 100.0% 817 100.0%

http:// stats.areppim.com/stats/stats_nobel_sexxcat.htm (eliminate blank space to access site)

Overall, men are 817 / 864 = 94.56% of all Nobel winners.
In Medicine, men are 196 / 207 = 94.69% of all Nobel winners.

I'm surprised that such misandry was published by a major journal.

If I write an article stating that "Study supports the theory that 'women are idiots'", and cite Nobel prize stats, will they publish it?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2014
Of these 318 cases, 282 Darwin Awards were awarded to males, and just 36 awards given to females.

On the bright sight...men seem to be more creative (when doing stupid things...but still)
cupcaketreat
3 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2014
This site is supposed to be a last refuge of sanity on the internet. Moderators need to not post questionable social science pieces, and commenters need not have sexist comments. This applies to the ladies and men behind their screens equally.
Sinister1812
3 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2014
Imagine the rage of feminists if the title said "Study supports the theory that 'women are idiots'"


It would get called sexist, taken down, and an apology would have to be issued. lol
alfie_null
4.1 / 5 (13) Dec 12, 2014
Whew! Lots of injured egos here. Maybe their next study should be on men's sense of humor.
ThomasQuinn
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2014
What a waste of time, effort and paper. Flawed on so many levels. And if this is meant to be a form of humour (which I sincerely hope, as the alternatives are worse), it's in bad taste for the BMJ to publish it.
Tektrix
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2014
This site is supposed to be a last refuge of sanity on the internet . . . .


Welcome to the asylum! 8^)
ucktrd
not rated yet Dec 12, 2014
It's the testosterone, the cause of all war.
Modernmystic
not rated yet Dec 12, 2014
Was this study taken from one culture or many?

In western society (though fortunately this is happening less and less) men are "John Wayned" and women are "Betty Crockered" into their roles from a very young age. Boys are able to get away with 3 acts of violence and reckless behavior and girls are called out on the first one. Some of this is biological to be sure, but most of it is attributable to culture IMO.

I would also say that men and women act "differently", the term idiotic itself has such a bias that I would look more deeply at the biases of those doing the study. We are, and continue to "grow up" as a species...this includes both men and women.
Gimp
4.5 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2014
What some call an idiot others call a Hero.

An idiot strapped himself into a rocket and circled the earth.
A Hero strapped himself into a rocket and circled the earth.

Just because one person perceives the task idiotic doesn't make it so, if not for IDIOTS we'd still be scratching the dirt for berries and bugs.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2014
Of these 318 cases, 282 Darwin Awards were awarded to males, and just 36 awards given to females.

On the bright sight...men seem to be more creative (when doing stupid things...but still)

LOLOLOL...
Love the "cup half full" perspective, AA...:-)
I suppose we could say men are more willing to do the "research" in determining probabilities...
That fact that ANYONE takes this article at all seriously suggests we, as a society, are losing our sense of humor..
Snickerdoodle
5 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2014
This isn't a valid study.

They based their "research" on a comedy program. The Darwin Awards is by no means a valid source for anything. It'd be like calling all Canadians idiots and claiming your research material to be South Park.

And yet, people will argue over a "study" that used a comedy site as a valid source. The article doesn't mean anything, other than the fact that the people who called this a study should be reprimanded and told to find an actual source for material.
Egleton
not rated yet Dec 12, 2014
How dare they insult my ego!
I am so angry I am going to speed my bike through traffic. To hell with the red lights- stupid things.
TazTheSpaz
1 / 5 (1) Dec 12, 2014
Hard to refute as there is no female equivalent to the Jackass films & shows. One of those guys died *from idiotic behavior!
mrnovember
3 / 5 (4) Dec 12, 2014
It seems many of the commenters can't take a light-hearted joke. It's a statistic observation. The "study" doesn't conclusively give a cause for this behaviour, they simply note that it is there. Why people are rushing to defend their gender, when it's simply an apt observation is beyond me. "Ooo men invented everything, stop insulting us." It's not an insult, it's just a fact. The fact that they intended to conduct a follow-up "study" which would consist of people watching at their upcoming office Christmas party should have been a clear message to those bruised egos that this is, in fact, a humorous bit of fun.
Snickerdoodle
not rated yet Dec 12, 2014
"it's just a fact"

Except this "study" is based on a comedy website. So no, not really.
TheKnowItAll
not rated yet Dec 12, 2014
The problem with this kind of humour is that it's only truly funny for the other one. Also we must come to the conclusion that for a while now the executives at phys.org have been targeting a whole new set of readers. I for one got bored half way through the article but reading the comments was certainly amusing ;)
Huns
5 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2014
Whew! Lots of injured egos here. Maybe their next study should be on men's sense of humor.

"Your gender is all idiots" (whichever gender you identify as)

Do you feel this is something that every last person who reads it is obliged to laugh at? Is it right that a "theory" based on a comedy award, which awards its recipients unscientifically, is presented on what is supposedly a legit science site? Am I allowed to be annoyed by things without your permission? Is your sense of humor the gold standard?

It's the testosterone, the cause of all war.

Actually, testosterone helps people calm down and relax. Men with aggression problems are statistically more likely to be short on testosterone. This was discovered in a prison experiment, where they thought the opposite would be true.
ThomasQuinn
1 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2014
It seems many of the commenters can't take a light-hearted joke. It's a statistic observation. The "study" doesn't conclusively give a cause for this behaviour, they simply note that it is there. Why people are rushing to defend their gender, when it's simply an apt observation is beyond me. "Ooo men invented everything, stop insulting us." It's not an insult, it's just a fact. The fact that they intended to conduct a follow-up "study" which would consist of people watching at their upcoming office Christmas party should have been a clear message to those bruised egos that this is, in fact, a humorous bit of fun.


Too bad that you miss the most important criticism, namely that publishing these kinds of mock-studies serves to discredit science and, especially, the credibility of noteworthy scientific periodicals like the BMJ.
Sean_W
not rated yet Dec 13, 2014
Author is likely the type of person who, in grade school, thought that beating up other kids was a clever practical joke.
imido
Dec 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
imido
Dec 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
btb101
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2014
1000 ways to die shows mainly men, but also a fair few women who are candidates..
Great show..
PacRim Jim
not rated yet Dec 15, 2014
Obviously men are idiots—if they read the BMJ.
imido
Dec 15, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Bob Osaka
not rated yet Dec 15, 2014
No one's stupidities are superior to your own. The smartest person in the world could possess less than 1% of the world's knowledge, therefor we are all 99% stupid.- Iconoclast Norman Mayer.

As to the comparative accomplishments or inanities of genders, one is useless without the other.
Lex Talonis
3 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2014
Women are the only thing that can double it's IQ by getting pregnant.
Rustybolts
3 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2014
Don't need a study to figure out theorist are idiots. I do respect a couple but most just make shit up to write something down. Like this post and many more at this site.
BSD
not rated yet Dec 15, 2014
" semi-naturalistic Christmas party setting" LOL

obviously tongue-in-cheek, all pseudo-sciency and stuff


Someone finally got it!


And the usual suspects, the Stupid White Males...... didn't.

Hence, their outrage.
COCO
not rated yet Dec 18, 2014
guilty as charged - old cranky male who is stupid enough to put in comments

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