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Fact #8: Men Are Funnier Than Women, They Write Better Jokes

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Happy people have high sense of agency

Research shows men can write better jokes than women.

The longstanding stereotype that men are funnier than women has received even more scientific credibility.

A new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality has found that, on average, men are indeed funnier than women.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina and Aberyswyth University analyzed the results of 28 other studies in which around 5,000 regular men and women were asked to write a humorous caption to accompany a cartoon.

A group of independent judges were then tasked with rating the comic prowess of the captions without knowing the gender of the writers.

The result? They found that that 63 percent of males were funnier than the average female. The abstract of the study read:

Results were robust across various moderators and study characteristics, and multiple tests indicated that publication bias is unlikely. Both evolutionary and cultural explanations were considered and discussed.

Reactions To The Findings

Men are funnier than women

Some people object to the findings that men are funnier than women.

The research looked at regular people rather than established comedians. However, Marina Bye of the comedy duo Siblings feels such studies are “unnecessary” and could discourage women from getting into comedy.

“With comedy that’s the last thing you want,” she told Radio 1 Newsbeat. “You want the worst and the best comedians to try because you never know. This study will cripple bravery.

Scottish comedian Eleanor Morton was particularly annoyed by the findings.

“It’s just another boring ‘study’ that claims women don’t NEED to be funny to find a mate so we’re not. Nothing new,” she tweeted.

“I actually think it’s more likely and more interesting that many men actively seek out partners they don’t think are funny because mummy told them they were the funniest little boy in the world and their ego couldn’t stand being proved wrong.”

Lead researcher Dr Gil Greengross couldn’t deny the result, however, stating that, to the best of his knowledge, “men appear to have higher humour production ability than women” on average.

He theorized that the belief that women are less funny “is so pervasive that societal forces discourage girls and women from developing and expressing their humor, making them less likely to be perceived as funny.”

What do you think about the result? I imagine that some of your colleagues, especially the female ones, might find issue with it.

Men Evolved To Be Funny

Funny Man making woman laugh

Men have spent thousands of years sharpening their wit so that they can attract women.

Humor is largely aggressive and pre-emptive, which makes it a very masculine trait. It has been part of the behavioral repertoire of modern humans for thousands of years.

Among its many other benefits, humor helps us navigate contentious social situations and plays a major role in mating. Bursting out into laughter was sure to attract predators, but it’s oh so pleasurable, not to mention healthy.

A sense of humor is “strongly correlated with intelligence” and is an attractive trait regardless of gender. In other words, being funny makes you more desirable as a mate, especially if you are male.

Women tend to be more attracted to men who have a sense of humor, while men generally prefer women who laugh at their humour.

A 2014 study even showed that women who have funny partners enjoy more and stronger orgasms compared to women with less funny partners.

Women also reported that humorous partners were more popular, more intelligent, more creative, and had better leadership skills.

Why is this? Why is that men have to be funny in the mating game?

Over our evolutionary history, men, especially those that weren’t physically gifted, likely had to compete harder with other men to impress women, utilizing any tool or advantage they could muster.

So, as a measure of intelligence, a sense of humour was one of those tools necessary for survival throughout our evolutionary history when we mostly lived as hunter-gatherer.

Too Manly’s Take

Black Man Thinking

Not all men are funnier than all women, but most are.

Do we think that the average man is more funny than the average woman? Yes.

People can object to the findings all they want, but the results speak for themselves. This is just one of many studies that have all arrived at the same conclusion.

It is probably not a question of why men are funnier than women but rather why women, who seem to have the whole male world at their mercy, are not.

The lazy answer is that they didn’t need to be funny to appeal to men. Simply being a woman was all that was required, if you catch my drift.

In other words, men spent thousands of years sharpening their wit, while women coasted through the millennia.

You can argue that there’s a difference between being good at writing jokes and being funny at presenting them, but it’s possible that the two are correlated.

Now, before you crucify me, I’m not saying that all women aren’t funny and that there are no decent women comedians. They exist.

It’s just that, by and large, women are less funny than men, and that’s likely because they didn’t have as much evolutionary pressure to be funny.

This could very well change as women spend more time developing their humor-making ability.

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and check out these other interesting facts about men.

Kwame Owusu (K.O.) is an MBA and the founder of Too Manly. As a seeker of manly truths, healthy living enthusiast, and practitioner of the TooManly lifestyle, he is committed to helping men everywhere look, feel and live the prime of their life at any age.

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