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.