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Christmas 2014: Going to Extremes. The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dennis LendremORCiD, Andrew Gray, Professor John IsaacsORCiD


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Sex differences in risk seeking behaviour, emergency hospital admissions, and mortality are well documented. However, little is known about sex differences in idiotic risk taking behaviour. This paper reviews the data on winners of the Darwin Award over a 20 year period (1995-2014). Winners of the Darwin Award must eliminate themselves from the gene pool in such an idiotic manner that their action ensures one less idiot will survive. This paper reports a marked sex difference in Darwin Award winners: males are significantly more likely to receive the award than females (P < 0.0001). We discuss some of the reasons for this difference.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lendrem BD, Lendrem DW, Gray A, Isaacs JD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ

Year: 2014

Volume: 349

Online publication date: 11/12/2014

Acceptance date: 07/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0959-535X

ISSN (electronic): 1756-1833

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g7094


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