Sunday, December 6, 2009

Speculations on the Cause of Stupidity

The plight of the Great Golfer, Tiger Woods, leads me to wonder whether sexual desire is the primary, if not the only, cause of stupidity--at least among males.  One can't avoid the onslaught of "news" regarding what are apparently his many mistresses and affairs.  In the face of this relentless assault, I've decided not to succumb to mere amusement or boredom (which strive for dominance of my attitude when faced with such circumstances), but to ponder its implications for the study of our idiocy.

One notes that this sort of thing happens fairly often to famous or infamous males, that it is normally found out, and found out in most cases because the man involved has been in some sense spectacularly stupid.  I suspect it happens quite often to less than famous men as well, and that stupidity plays its part in their discomforture.

I'm not going to cite examples (and there are many), but submit for your consideration that this urge has at one time or the other turned all men into gibbering, drooling idiots, and likely will continue to do so.  Further, I submit that all men know this, and many are horrified to find that this knowledge counts for nothing at all.  We must be stupid in this case, and then, having been stupid, and knowing the consequences, we are stupid in our efforts to hide or mitigate our stupidity.  There is something truly pathetic, indeed tragic, about this incapacity.

I wonder if women are subject to the same kind of volunteered imbecility. One hears of women being stupid when it comes to sex, of course, but it doesn't seem one hears of them going to the extemes men are capable of, except, perhaps, in the case of that astronaut who made herself ridiculuous.

Now, because the human capacity to be stupid is immense, it makes no sense to postulate a single cause of stupidy.  We are capable of being profoundly stupid for various reasons, and in circumstances where sex is not involved.  Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that sex causes us to be stupid in particular ways, e.g. clownishly stupid, or too often, cruelly stupid.

Would we be better off without it?  Chemical castration, anyone?


  1. Have you seen the The Basic Laws of Human stupidity?

    The Second Law reads:
    "The probability that a certain person will be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person."

    Seems appropriate in this and many cases.

  2. I didn't know of this source. Thank you.