Men Are Funnier Than Women, But Not By Much, Study States
Men are funnier than women, according to a study published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
Skeptical? Keep reading, there's a catch.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego released a study that suggests males are more likely to make people laugh, but only by a small margin of 0.11 points. The researchers wanted to explore if the "women aren't funny" gender stereotype stood up to a series of experiments.
A group of 16 male and 16 female undergraduates were instructed to write humorous captions for 20 New Yorker comics.
A group of 34 males and 47 females were brought in to rate how funny they found a caption. Entries were eliminated in a "tournament-style rating system," according to a release from USCD.
Results revealed that men unknowingly gave other men's captions relatively higher scores than women did, which suggests that men are mostly funny to other men.
"Sad for the guys who think that by being funny they will impress the ladies, but really just impress other men who want to impress the ladies," UCSD professor and study co-author Nicholas Christenfeld said.
The team acknowledged that the results somewhat support the gender stereotype the study was designed to investigate, but "the differences we find between men's and women's ability to be funny are so small that they can't account for the strength of the belief in the stereotype," a researcher pointed out.
A researcher points to New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff's blog, which reveals that way more men enter humor contests than women.
And Slate writer Amanda Marcotte says she understands why:
This doesn't surprise me one bit, considering my personal experiences of watching women's jokes get ignored, stolen by men, or regarded as gross and unladylike. Half the reason to make jokes is so people laugh at them, and if your femaleness prevents people from laughing at your jokes, you're going to give up.
"I still find with family that people kind of stare at me when I make jokes that would cause convulsions if I were a man," she wrote.
A subsequent experiment revealed that participants guessed the "funny" captions were written by men and the "less funny" ones were written by women, which was not necessarily true.
For more on the study, watch the video report above.