During my college days, I remember watching a show on MTV called as Jackass. Do you remember it too? It was a show about men playing ridiculous pranks on each other, some were screamingly hilarious while others were painfully cringy to watch. But they were silly in general.
When I was in India, I also remember a weekend getaway to a crocodile farm several years ago. My friend and I were excited to hold a baby crocodile as we thought it was a crazy thing to do.
Yeah well, something not to feel proud about for a change, when it comes to man’s primitive desire to appear smarter and stronger than women. And the fairer sex has turned tables on this desire long ago, with much reason. But this is one domain where the men have consistently outdone the women. At least research says so.
A 2014 research paper published in the British Medical Journal proves that men consistently outnumber women when it comes to women in behaving outright stupid or idiotic. They have been winning what is called in scientific parlance, the “Darwin Award” for being eliminated from the gene pool, whereby the less idiot men survive. In effect, it means that when men lose their lives due to stupid behavior, there is one less idiot on this planet who survives.
This is where Male Idiot Theory comes in.
What is Male Idiot Theory?
This theory outlines a male’s behavior that is deemed stupid and idiotic when seen in a general perspective.
Have you heard or read about some of the behavioral patterns such as these:
- Men binge drinking at pubs only to be rushed to hospitals
- Jumping from bridges/ waterfall without much safety precautions
- Accepting challenges from friends and getting themselves tattooed / stalking someone just for the heck of it.
- Getting the weirdest hair cut ever or body piercings
- Jumping in water bodies to accompany friends even when they don’t know how to swim
- Motorcycle or car stunts that seem irrational to a bystander for the high amount of risk involved in it.
- Writing love letters in blood or performing stunts to impress a girlfriend.
All these and more instances of similar kinds, yes, the ones that made you cringe in disbelief when you first read or heard about them thinking “How could someone do that, for God’s sake”, are all acts of extreme risk taking when the rewards are negligible to nil. It doesn’t stop at that. Most of such behavior is well documented through hospital records when they have to be admitted for injuries, at times even fatal. The point is, while acting stupid, these men don’t make a rational assessment of what they are doing and what will be the probable consequences thereof. Why, they don’t even calculate if such an act will prove fatal to them.
What is new about something which we already knew
Well, the news is that men behave more idiotic when they are amidst other men. When they congregate with others, they are more likely to behave in a way that seems stupid. The likelihood that they would like this when no one is watching or when they are all alone is very less.
Why do men do what they do?
It is a kind of social conditioning, say psychologists, that encourages young boys to ‘act like a man’. That, in effect, means strengthening social stereotypes that entail men don’t cry, men take risks, men must show their bravado to others to be perceived as strong and mighty. So it gets exaggerated when men are in the company of other men who are displaying this seemingly ‘macho’ behavior. It is a sort of a one-upmanship to showcase male bravado before others, especially other men. Men look at such kind of high risk taking before other men as a symbol of their supremacy over other males. If successful, they feel it strengthens their masculinity in a group of other males. That is the reason why such behavior is seen more in the company of other males and rarely when one is alone.
Now why do men want to be looked at as superior is anyone’s guess. It is a primitive trait of males of the species to be stronger than the others. Only the strongest of the species survives, and gets the females for mating. Well, that was in older times when males had to impress the female that he could take care of her and her progeny, you would say. But even though human civilization has progressed a lot from those days, the basic instinct just refuses to fade away.
Researchers who studied such male stupid / idiotic behavior also say that more often, these are acts performed as a rite of passage for adolescent boys, an act of establishing social esteem for grown -ups or solely to gain bragging rights before other males who have not done or dare not do any such thing.
So when we’re speaking so much about men being idiots, does not mean that women don’t do such things? I mean, let’s be balanced in our commentary. Well, the same research says that the percentage of women who do perform such idiotic, unthinkable acts is extremely low. The reasons could well be a reflection of how the female psyche works. Females don’t need to establish their supremacy in a group. Moreover, an inherent nurturing trait allows females to be safe themselves and keep others safe at all times. It’s the same maternal instinct that rushes in whenever a female finds someone in danger. She will always think about the people who are dependent on her for nurturing and hence will not take uncalculated risks, for the simple reason that she prefers safety first. Also, women are raised to be more aware about the dangers lurking in the society everywhere and to keep herself safe. Some research speaks of that part of a man’s brain being a fourth in size as compared with a woman’s brain where decisions about risk calculations are made. Some researchers also point out that men take more risks than women because they don’t have obligatory parenting responsibilities, unlike a woman.
Whatever be the reason, it has been established that men are, in general, more idiotic than woman. So now to all those men out there who act and behave like one, be cautious about the consequences and do not let what has already been proven, be something that describes you too!
I’ve just been challenged to finish eating a bucket of KFC chicken, so am off to prove them wrong.
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