White American men in rural areas are the most likely to die during dumb macho stunts

Illustration for article titled White American men in rural areas are the most likely to die during dumb macho stunts

Are you a Caucasian male who lives in the countryside? If so, you're America's prime demographic to accidentally die during ill-advised, testosterone-fueled stupidity! These findings come courtesy of a recent study in Social Psychological and Personality Science ("Living Dangerously: Culture of Honor,
Risk-Taking, and the Nonrandomness of
‘Accidental' Deaths") examined which demographic died the most frequently whilst defending their reputation with bird-brained acts of machismo. From the abstract:

Two studies examined the hypothesis that the culture of honor would be associated with heightened risk taking, presumably because risky behaviors provide social proof of strength and fearlessness. As hypothesized, Study 1 showed that honor states in the United States exhibited higher rates of accidental deaths among Whites (but not non-Whites) than did nonhonor states, particularly in nonmetropolitan areas. Elevated accidental deaths in honor states appeared for both men and women and remained when the authors controlled for a host of statewide covariates (e.g., economic deprivation, cancer deaths, temperature) and for non-White deaths. Study 2, likewise, showed that people who endorsed honor-related beliefs reported greater risk taking tendencies, independent of age, sex, self-esteem, and the big five.


Also, the study has what is perhaps the most fantastically bizarre academic citation I've ever seen:

Although prior culture-of-honor research has predominantly focused on retaliatory aggression (e.g., Brown et al., 2009; Cohen et al., 1996), and although such aggression might contribute to some of the accidental deaths we examine below (e.g., instances of retaliatory road rage), it could be that a preoccupation with proving personal honor compels men to act riskily in other contexts as well, whether these actions are preceded by a challenge-e.g., ‘‘What's wrong McFly? Chicken?'' (Gale, Canton, & Zemeckis, 1989)-or not.

When you've managed to sneak a quote from Needles from the Back To The Future movies into your otherwise straight-faced paper, you should win tenure immediately.

[Social Psychological and Personality Science via Ars Technica]



The flip side to this is of course, these are the guys you want fighting zombies.