Researchers viewed various studies in which people compared humor between genders – without first knowing their sex – finding 63% of males were funnier than the average female.
The study contrasted normal people as opposed to professional comedians. “With comedy that’s the last thing you want,” Marina Bye told Radio 1 Newsbeat. “You want the worst and the best comedians to try because you never know. This study will cripple bravery. I really think it’s unnecessary to do this study. They could’ve done something progressive.”
Researchers from the University of North Carolina and Aberystwyth University analyzed 28 studies which probed how funny 5,000 people were. They desired to find out whether the stereotype that males are funnier than females was true. Lead researcher Dr Gil Greengross, writing in Psychology Today, said: “This stereotype is shared by both men and women – but of course, just because it exists does not mean it is true.”
In a lot of the studies they looked at, women and men were asked to compose a humorous caption to follow a cartoon – and then unbiased judges rated their hilarity without having knowledge of their gender. Dr Gil stated the results revealed that “to the best of our knowledge, on average, men appear to have higher humor production ability than women”.
On the radio, he furthered: “To clarify, the whole thing is not about ‘women are not funny’… obviously there are some very funny stand-up comedians and I know many female comedians, some personally. Sara Pascoe, for example, she’s a great comedian and she’s probably funnier than 99% of all males in the world… it’s just that on average we find there’s a difference.” He explains evidence hints wit plays a “major role in mating”. The lector noted women tend to seek a sense of humor in a mate as it is “strongly correlated with intelligence”. “Men, on the other hand, prefer women who laugh at their humor. That means that over our evolutionary history, men likely had to compete harder with other men to impress women with their sense of humor.”
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