Study finds that men are funnier than women on average
A cross-referential study that analyzed data from 28 studies on the relative humour of roughly 5,000 people found that there’s some truth behind the common stereotype that men are generally funnier than women.
The study was completed by researchers at Aberystwyth University and the University of North Carolina and led by Dr. Gil Greengross, an evolutionary psychologist and humour researcher.
“There is a prevalent stereotype that men are funnier than women. This stereotype is shared by both men and women—but of course, just because it exists does not mean it is true,” wrote Greengross in Psychology Today.
According to Greengross, the researchers “systematically reviewed all available studies that looked at sex differences in humor ability, and using the statistical tool called meta-analysis, we calculated the difference.”
Overall, researchers found that 63 percent of men were funnier than the average woman, and Greengross attributes this difference to evolution and differences in mating strategies.
Greengross explains that most women use men’s humour producing ability as a means of gauging their intelligence. Thus, it was in many ways necessary for men to compete over who could be wittier, who could get more laughs.
He also says that men prefer women who appreciate their humour but may not see a lack of humour producing ability as a barrier for mating.
“Women tend to look for various signal indicators of mate quality, and a great sense of humor is one of them,” writes Greengross. “Humor is strongly correlated with intelligence, which explains why women value men with a great sense of humor, as intelligence was crucial for survival throughout our evolutionary history when we mostly lived in hunter-gatherer groups.”
Continuing, Greengross explains that “Men, on the other hand, prefer women who laugh at their humor,” and that men “generally do not place a high value on women’s humor production ability.”
In an interview with BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat on Tuesday, Greengross said the goal of his research is not to dissuade women from pursuing careers in comedy, saying there are plenty of female comedians who are funny.
He says that the study’s findings are not indicative of an individual comedian’s innate humour producing ability, it is merely an average between the genders.
The study lends credence to the late Christopher Hitchen’s infamous essay for Vanity Fair that posited the theory that men are generally funnier than women, but the study isn’t nearly as absolutist as the title of his piece, “Why Women Aren’t Funny”.
South Park is a notoriously offensive animated television show, which is why it’s not surprising that they recently spoofed one of the most absurd things to come down the pike of late—trans women in women’s sports.
Invoking the spirit of Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the latest South Park episode straight-up savages the issue of biological males in women’s sports. Here’s a clip from the episode:
Of course, the trans lobby is furious. Outrage and indignance is what they do best these days. Quillette editor Jon Kay quite rightly points out the fact that, with responses like these, they are quickly becoming the zealots of our time: “You can always tell who the real zealots are in any society: They’re the ones who despise humour and satire—because they know that spontaneous laughter marks one of those few moments when people are immune to the strictures of mob-enforced dogma.”
If anyone thought that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone would shy away from skewering the absurdity of biological men dominating women’s sports just because they feel like women, they obviously haven’t been paying attention. This is the team that brought the world Tony Award-winning Book of Mormon, which takes aim at Mormon missionary work. Just like South Park, the show was initially reviled by the offence police but is still running nine years later.
The funniest part of all of this is how trans advocates keep thinking we shouldn’t laugh at how ridiculous these claims are. Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais have also made fun of biological men invading women’s spaces too. It’s because biological men forcing women into scenarios where they get their asses kicked (as is the case in many sports from MMA to rugby to cycling) or are forced to touch genitals against their will (as is the case in the Jessica Yaniv saga) are either criminal or funny, and since this madness keeps happening with complete endorsement of the elite political class and media, it must be funny.
Biological men with 12 months of estrogen treatment trounce women in every sport they enter, from cycling to track & field to weightlifting. Not only that, but in the case of cycling world champion Rachel McKinnon, they brag and call the women losers. It turns out that taking 12 months to lower a lifetime of testosterone levels doesn’t actually do much to handicap trans male athletes. It’s pretty funny that international athletic associations in so many sports, including rugby, one of the most violent contact sports around, allow men, taking performance decreasing drugs, to compete with women. Even when women take testosterone—which would be against the doping rules—they can’t match the decreased male testosterone levels.
South Park points out the extreme absurdity that we have allowed to happen because of the fear of censure for saying something politically incorrect. While no reasonable person denies the right of trans people to exist in the world and have their identities respected, there must be common-sense limits. When it comes to biological men dominating women’s sports, it must be said loud and clear that in this case, men are not women. And since the people in charge are too cowardly to say so, we must rely on comedians to mock the absurdities of the situation.
Besides: dudes beating the hell out of women in competitive sports is just an objectively funny spectacle worthy of mockery. And when it comes to the women who have trained hard their whole lives to achieve athletic excellence only to be beaten by these men, it’s funny enough to make you cry.
Sesame Street has introduced Karli, a puppet whose mother is addicted to opioids. I applaud them. For too long, children’s shows have been bright, happy, colourful and filled with problems that can be easily resolved. It’s time we saw the alleys and overflowing gutters behind the buildings of Sesame Street—the suicides, prostitution and addictions that run rampant after the sun sets. It’s time children learned about real life. It’s time children learned about flesh-eating diseases, absent fathers, and the unforgiving cycle of life. That their heroes are frauds and everyone dies, including their favourite pets and all their hopes and dreams.
It’s time children learn why people are drawn to heroin in the first place. That life can be so crushing and hopeless that the only other answer is death. It is time children learn that although on the outside the heroin addict may look sick, miserable, terrifying and disgusting, inside they feel better than you will ever know. That the feeling is so good inside, the addict forgets about the vessel and the outer part of the body slowly begins to slip away. From the outside it is hard to watch a heroin addict slowly deteriorate, and even harder to imagine how someone could let themselves fall into that state. But inside they feel perfect. Religion, spirituality, and gurus have often spoken of finding inner peace and joy, and there is no peace within as perfect as the high of heroin.
It is a feeling so good it makes parents neglect their children, as in Karli’s case. A feeling so good the user forgets everything—everything bad, and everything good. It is better than the feeling of accomplishing goals, of success or love. It is perfect—that is until it fades away. So, you chase that perfect feeling for the rest of your life, getting close, but never quite attaining it again. You chase forward, day after day, as everything around you slowly slips away, your youth, your family, your hopes and your dreams.
But it isn’t all bad. I hope Sesame Street strives to show the positive aspects of having a drug-addled mother. There is a certain freedom that is gained when your mother is constantly on the nod. The freedom to do as you please. To watch what you want to watch, eat as many cookies as you wish. If there are no cookies in the house, just steal them, and if you get caught, blame it on your strung-out mom. Blame everything on her, and do as you please, until finally, while she sleeps, half on the couch, half on the floor, you find the needle that brings her more pleasure than you, her child, ever could, and you try heroin for the first time, and for the first moment in your life, everything makes sense.
But why stop there? There are so many other stories to tell. A child bit in the face by a pit bull? Yes, please. Drunk Driver Dan, veering through the streets? Definitely. Doug the Absent Father? Not absent from Sesame Street I hope! What about Stabby Sam? Serial Cannibal Sue? Barfy Brett? Stink Breath Syd? Give me all of them!
These are the types of stories I want to see on Sesame Street. Let’s pull back the sewer lid and let the rats run free. Let the ghost of Hubert Selby Jr. guide us through Sesame Street. It has been too long the soft, lotioned hands of the puppeteer have painted this unrealistic look at city life.
It’s time children grew up! It’s time children learned the harsh realities of life. That the birds do not sing, they cry. The world is going to burn anyway, as the climate threatens to extinguish our existence. Shoot heroin, smoke crack, eat your neighbour, never shower and watch Sesame Street.