At least that’s what psychologists say–but only just barely and mostly to other men. The oft-repeated stereotype is than women can’t tell a joke properly, but psychologist Laura Mickes says, "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."
The standard explanations for this are usually variations on an evolutionary sexual-selection argument that likens a man’s humor to a peacock’s fancy tail or a deer’s rack of antlers, useful primarily for showing off and impressing potential mates. But if this was the case, the male sense of humor would appeal more to WOMEN.
But co-researcher Nicholas Christenfeld found that in their tests, male prowess at the task of being funny on command was "just at the edge of detectability," and men scored better with other men than with women. He thinks it could be that men see more opportunities to take a stab at humor, that they try harder or more often. There are certainly more male professional comedians than women.
The New Yorker runs a weekly contest where it solicits captions for a cartoon, then posts the winners the next week. Nine of the top 10 entrants are men, and while fewer women win the actual contest, far fewer of them enter. When they do enter, though, their success rates are pretty impressive. But not all men are funny: Film critic Roger Ebert finally won the caption contest on his 107th try.
A lot of contactees surely do wish that professional comedians would quit making fun of THEM. Anne Strieber takes this seriously, and she has interviewed 14 contactees to date and allowed them to tell their stories IN THEIR OWN WORDS. The latest interviews are with "Gary" and "Susan," and if you subscribe today, you can listen to them all (Plus you’ll help support us. We need your hlep because keeping this site going in tough economic times like these is no laughing matter!)
Sometimes you want to laugh, but you just can’t. What if you’re a lovely young singer who finds herself in a high-rise building in Los Angeles with nobody to talk to but her pushy stage mother? You make a friend–a secret friend–who turns out to fall in love with you and saves your life twice. Anne Strieber thought of this story and Whitley wrote it, and if you pre-order it today, you can be among the FIRST to read it.