Isn’t it curious that while women
laugh more than men, and are even socialized to laugh, they are often told,
subtly and sometimes not so subtly, that they have no sense of humor?
Another way that men and women
differ is in their opinions about what’s funny. The British Association for the
Advancement of Science conducted an experiment over the Internet. The results
of this search for “the world’s funniest joke” in which 350,000 people
submitted and/or rated jokes were published in a book, Laughlab. According to the director, Dr. Richard Wiseman, an
unintended result of the experiment was a more accurate understanding of the
jokes preferred by each sex. Males favored jokes involving aggression, sexual
innuendo and the put-down of women. Women preferred jokes involving word play.
“These findings reflect fundamental differences in the way in which males and
females use humour,” Wiseman asserted. “Males use humour to appear superior to
others, whilst women are more linguistically skilled and prefer word-puns.”
Humor that uses aggression, sexual
innuendo and the putdown of women—especially humor that uses all three—is not
conducive to healthy relationships and, in fact, is harmful.
A difference in taste in jokes is a great
strain on the affections.
—George Eliot, author
A study in the Washington
Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say
to the authors of that study: “Duh.”
—Conan O'Brien, late night
talk show host
• A Freudian slip is
when you say one thing and mean your mother.
• When you dream in
color, it’s a pigment of your imagination.