Every year, the British Medical Journal releases a Christmas edition with some offbeat and silly research. This year, there’s a rather morbidly humorous study about which gender is more likely to die as a result of doing something really, really dumb. Spoiler alert: It’s men. A team led by Ben Alexander Daniel, a student at the King Edward VI School in the U.K., simply looked at all of the Darwin Award winners between 1995 and 2014 — this, you may recall, is an award given to confirmed instances of people meeting untimely ends as a result of, to phrase it diplomatically, poor decision-making — and calculated the gender breakdown.
Males apparently accounted for 88.7 percent of Darwin Award winners during this time span, a result the (all-male) authors wryly offer as evidence in support of “male idiot theory” — “the observation that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.” Pitch-black laughs aside, there’s a kernel of an important point here: Researchers have known forever that men, particularly young ones, tend to be more impulsive and engage in more dangerous risk-seeking behavior than women, a fact that shows up in all sorts of public-health data — not to mention in emergency-room records.
Just something to keep in mind as we enter peak drinking-in-freezing-temperatures season.