Oh, you think that’s funny, huh?
Well, chances are if it’s funny you might think a guy said or wrote it but it would be almost just as likely that a woman did. A recently published study on which sex is funnier found that men are a little funnier than women … but only a little. Using a controlled version of the New Yorker cartoon captioning competitions as a guide, men “edged out women by 0.11 points out of a theoretically possible perfect score of 5.0, while about 90 percent of both male and female study participants agreed with the stereotype that men are funnier,” says Science Daily.
Men also scored better with other men: “Female raters allocated only an average 0.06 more points to the male writers, while the male raters gave them a significantly higher average of 0.16 more points.” (One of the advantages of a caption contest is the inability to tell whether a man or woman wrote the caption that makes you double over).
Robert Mankoff, a cartoon editor at the New Yorker, co-authored the study and had observed on his blog in May that while men won the New Yorker contest more frequently, they also tried harder. “Looking at contests #250 through #282, there are 32 winners, with 22 men and 10 women, Mankoff says, and notes: “The 22 winning men entered an average of 70.22 contests, but the 10 women averaged 6.4 entries— and four of them won on their first attempt.”