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How and Why Humor Differs Between the Sexes

Have you ever wondered why class clowns are virtually always male? Documented differences in the ways the genders use and respond to humor explain this and other humor-related phenomena.

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For example, research conducted by psychology professor Robert R. Provine at the University of Maryland in found that women who posted personal ads sought a partner who could make them laugh twice as frequently as they offered to be the source of humor. Men, however, offered to be the provider of humor a third more than they sought it in a partner.

Science of Sexy: 5 Things That Can Make You Irresistible

Psychologists Eric R. Bressler and Sigal Balshine found that men expressed no preference for funny women, but that women tended to choose funnier men as partners.

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Rod A. Bressler, Balshine and Martin conducted research in in which they asked subjects to choose between pairs of potential partners for a one-night stand, a date, a short-term relationship, a long-term relationship or friendship.

Science of Sexy: 5 Things That Can Make You Irresistible | Time

In each pair, one partner sex described sex receptive to humor but not funny themselves, and the other partner was described as very funny, but not interested humur the humorous remarks nonsexual girls nude others.

In all scenarios except friendship, men chose women who would laugh at their jokes while women selected men who would make them laugh. Evolutionary psychologists have theorized that a sense of humor is a sign of intellect and strong genes and that women, the more selective sex due to the burdens associated with pregnancy, are attracted to funny men because of the genetic benefit that could humur bestowed upon potential offspring.