Skip to comments.Scientist Claims Men Are Funnier Than Women
Posted on 12/21/2007 7:25:57 PM PST by blam
Scientist claims men are funnier than women
By Nick Britten
Last Updated: 1:40am GMT 22/12/2007
Men are more naturally funny than women, according to a male scientist who says men make more jokes and the gags tend to be more aggressive.
As part of his research Professor Sam Shuster, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, rode a unicycle around Newcastle upon Tyne and judged the reaction of 400 onlookers.
Comedians Victoria Wood and Peter Kay
He said 75 per cent of male respondents made snide comments such as "Lost your wheel?" and jeered, while few women made cutting remarks and tended to make encouraging, praising comments.
Men were also more likely to comment and young men were the most aggressive, Prof Shuster told the British Medical Journal. The older the men were, the mellower were their comments.
Previous research has suggested women and men differ in how they use and appreciate humour, and it backs Prof Shuster's findings that suggest men are more likely to use humour aggressively by making others the butt of the joke.
Prof Shuster said he believed humour develops from aggression caused by male hormones. The simplest explanation, he said, is the effect of male hormones such as testosterone.
"The difference between the men and women was absolutely remarkable and consistent," said Prof Shuster.
"At 11-13 years, the boys began to get really aggressive. Into puberty, the aggression became more marked, then it changed into a form of joke. The men were snide."
He added that the initial aggressive intent seems to become channelled into a more subtle and sophisticated joke, so the aggression is hidden by wit.
Dr Nick Neave, a psychologist at the University of Northumbria who has studied the physical, behavioural and psychological effects of testosterone, said men might respond aggressively because they see the other unicycling man as a threat, attracting female attention away from themselves.
"This would be particularly challenging for young males entering the breeding market. It does not surprise me that their responses were the more threatening," he said.
The research was dismissed by one of the country's leading stand-up comics. John Moloney, who works on the club circuit, said: "In 21 years on the circuit I have never noticed men being funnier.
"I think the testosterone leads men to be more naturally aggressive but not necessarily funnier.
"The difference is that if a group of women were together and the conversation lulls, they don't automatically start telling jokes, which men do, and then it becomes a bit of a competition. But that doesn't mean to say they are funnier."
Two years ago, researchers at Stanford University claimed there was a gender divide in appreciating humour. Studies of brain patterns suggested women place a greater emphasis on the language, employing a more analytical approach and less on the punchline.
Why did the Turtle cross the road,,??,,,this is only a test..
But, honestly, there weren’t any women in Monty Python, were there?
To show the armadillo that it could be done.
That’s good,,,(better than mine really),,but you get the buzzer,,
I’ve been making pretty girls laugh since I was 8 years old. I don’t intend to give that up irrespective of the research.
Ever had your mother say “Hey pull my finger”?
Good comment bannie!
I kept looking for the funny but all I could find was snide.
Oh, well - I could have told him men and women find different things funny to begin with.
Men are funnier to me because I take women seriously.
"I got raped by a doctor."
Which, for a Jewish girl, is bittersweet."
well, you had to be there...
“Women nurture, men prod.”
Revise that a bit:
“Women nag, men prod.”
There ya go.