The Social Animal: Male Athletes Fake Injury More And Women Really Are Bad Drivers

Bosses are mean. Male athletes are overly dramatic! And women behind the wheel are mysteriously prone to crashing into one another… These are just some of the revelations scientists have made, in faithful service of this week’s The Social Animal, where we investigate what’s really happening in human behavior today.

Breaking: Most people find ice cream to be delicious, bee stings to be painful, and puppies to be cute…

File this one under S%*t We Already Knew: “Horrible bosses abound, according to new study.” In the words of many a disgruntled employee after too much micromanaging from their bosses: Well, duh. According to a study released this week by OfficeTeam, a California-based temp agency, 46 percent of office workers say they have worked for an “unreasonable manager.” If you ask me, that number actually sounds low, considering it’s referring to employees who have had bad bosses, not those who currently do. I mean, haven’t we all? Maybe the remaining 54 percent of the respondents were CEOs. Then there’s the study’s timing, which coincides just a little too conveniently with the release of the aptly—if not terribly creatively—titled Horrible Bosses. Cross-marketing, perhaps?


Something men fake more than women, for a change

Anyone who’s watched even a few minutes of professional soccer—or “football,” as it’s known in countries that actually care about it—has witnessed a player crumple to the ground in apparent agony, only to return to full speed moments later (usually after earning himself a whistle). And anyone who has witnessed such shamelessness has inevitably rolled her eyes and thought to herself, “Guys are such (female genitalia). A woman would not behave like that.” Well, turns out they’re right. According to a new study released by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, women soccer players are far less likely to fake injuries than their male counterparts. Dr. Daryl A. Rosenbaum, an assistant professor of family and community medicine, and also a man, found that women’s games had to be stopped about half as often as men’s (5.74 apparent injuries per game versus 11.26 for the men), and about twice as many of those stoppages in women’s games were actual injuries (13.7%, compared to 7.2% for the men). Furthermore, scientists continue to agree that childbirth is more painful than Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff losses.


Good news! Feel free to keep on yapping — and toss in a pickled vegetable while you’re at it

It only took two months for one big, expensive, official study to contradict the results of May’s well-publicized big, expensive, official study by the World Health Organization, which labeled cell phones “possibly carcinogenic,” and placed them in a category called “IARC Group 2B,” which also includes coffee and pickled vegetables. The new study, which found no link between cell phone use and brain tumors, was conducted by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection’s standing committee on epidemiology. (Incidentally, saying that five times fast may result in stroke.) Expect this health debate—like those surrounding eggs, organic food, and marijuana—to continue, well, forever. Or at least as long as cell phones are around. Fortunately, as PCWorld points out, “For cellphone users who are still worried, there are plenty of ways to reduce radiation exposure, but those efforts may be better spent exercising and eating well, as a heart attack will probably kill you first.” Noted.


If you* are reading this, you* are probably a worse driver than I † am [Note: * = woman; † = man]

PAM: OK… if I have to do this… Based on stereotypes that are totally untrue and that I do not agree with, you would maybe not be a very good driver.

DWIGHT: Oh, man! Am I a woman?

This exchange from The Office took place in the spring of 2005, which means that the debate over whether women are truly worse drivers than men has been raging for more than six years now. Or, you know, maybe even longer than that. Now we can finally put the debate to rest—or, you know, until the next study. A University of Michigan study of 6.5 million car crashes has found that female-to-female crashes occur at a “higher than expected” rate. (Male-to-male crashes outnumber female-to-female crashes by a significant margin, but apparently there are still far more men at the wheel than women. What is this, the 1950s?) The study’s researchers cite a number of possible explanations for the results, from the innocuously empirical (men are taller; men drive more, so they get more practice) to the type that sometimes result in husbands being exiled to the couch (men boast superior reflexes and spatial intelligence). Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t even have a car…



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    • Barbara

      Good to know that cell phone paranoia will soon go the way of Fear of Eggs. Time to go exercise.

    • Sophy Laughing

      Dear Headhonchos:

      Plz keep Michael Wolman on Payroll…!
      He’s funny!

      .(◠ ◡ ◠). (do u like my earrings?)

    • Fred Geldon

      You’ve got a keeper there! You go, boy!