The winners of "Darwin Awards" die in a stunning variety of stupid ways, but the great majority of those killed trying to clean chimneys with grenades, ride in shopping trolleys hitched to trains, and so forth have one thing in common: They're men. A tongue-in-cheek study in the British Medical Journal calls this proof of "male idiot theory," noting that out of 318 verified cases from the last 20 years, 282 Darwin Awards were awarded to males and just 36 to women. That gives men a "highly statistically significant" 88.7% of the awards for those "who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it." Men who accidentally castrate themselves are also eligible for Darwins.
The finding "supports the hypothesis that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things," the study's four male authors write, explaining that men are more likely to take idiotic risks, sometimes when drunk or showing off—or often both, as in the case of three Cambodian men who played a form of Russian roulette by taking turns to stamp on a landmine until it exploded, killing all three of them. One author explains that "idiotic risks are defined as senseless risks, where the apparent payoff is negligible or non existent, and the outcome is often extremely negative and often final," the Telegraph reports. The authors say they plan to further explore "male idiot theory" in "a semi-naturalistic Christmas party setting." (Previous studies in the BMJ's festive edition have warned that Santa is a terrible role model and found that a real James Bond would be an impotent drunk.)