Humor and your ability to wield it is a sign of your intelligence. It is also related to highly-developed interpersonal skills because you must time a joke correctly, determine its appropriateness within the existing audience, and gauge its reception.
People have many varieties of humor. Some like it light, others like it macabre, and others like sarcasm. These different varieties depend on your sense of humor and whether or not you can decode the joke within the message. But, there are gender differences that have been uncovered by many studies. Women seek men who are humorous. This may happen because they are the more selective gender and are responsible for most of the child-rearing. Women are looking for an intelligent man who has the potential to be successful. Most men, on the other hand, do not seek out funny women.
At Arizona State University, Linguistics professor, Don Nilsen, has a theory about women who generate humor rather than just receive it. He states that most men do not want a woman who generates humor, but they want a woman who appreciates their humor. They want a woman who will laugh at their jokes, but for many men, Nilsen says, a woman who creates humor is seen to be aggressive or competitive.
The men may either feel threatened by her masculine humor, imagining she is their rival, or fear she may turn her humor on them. And not in a good way. Nilsen also notes than humor in men boosts their attractiveness because these funny men are, often, creative and unique thinkers. They may be able to think of many original ideas to a problem rather than the standard solutions that come first. This ability, and funny men’s ability to consider and understand the point of view of another person makes them attractive to many women.
The idea of women as a recipient of humor is seen in many dating scenes where a woman giggles at a man’s funny, but possibly unfunny, jokes.
This isn’t the only picture, of course. Men are not all the same. Nilsen states that there are men who enjoy the humor of their partner, when, for example, they are in a long-term relationship. These men may differ from other men. They are, often, more secure, educated, and mature than most others. In addition, they are not intimidated by the humor and intelligence of their women and have a high regard for themselves and their partners.
With this said, Nilsen notes that women should look for a man who revels in her humor, as this will be a man who has matured, become wiser, and will be supportive of her decisions.
Men, these studies report, use humor to beat their competition—other men. Women also use humor but it is usually to promote bonding and good relationships which can lead to a better outcome for everyone involved.
Because humor is a sign of intelligence men want to prove that they are intelligent enough to be with this woman. Many dating profiles list GSOH, which means Good Sense of Humor, so humor is a sought-after trait in both genders, but the reasoning is different. Often, humor can signify a meeting of two minds. A highly technical joke that can be understood by another means both of these people are well-versed in this field, while a cultural reference, especially an obscure one, can unite two people around a shared passion.
A study in Evolutionary Psychology pointed out, humor can be used as a precursor to sexual relations. Yes, women will be more likely to engage in sexual intercourse with a man who is funny, than a man who is not. Not only do women want a man who can please them physically, but they want a man who can stimulate their mind. This is why men hone their humor and throw it out in the world to see how it will land. The downside to this is that if the joke does not go well, the man may have lost his chance to be with the woman.
HUMOR AS A SIGN OF SEXUAL INTEREST
Humor in a male is a highly desired trait in women. So much so, that a woman’s laughter may have, over time, evolved to show that she is interested in a sexual relationship. A study conducted in Germany showed that the amount a woman laughed when considering dating a man was a direct correlation between her desire to further their relationship. This was the same for men. The more she laughed, the more interested he became in her. But, there was no correlation when viewed from the man’s perspective. Whether or not the woman made him laugh a lot or a little, he felt no desire to date her more. This is related to men’s belief that women are the recipients of humor, not the generators.
A STUDY ON WRITTEN HUMOR
Eric Bressler, a psychologist who works at McMaster University, completed a study showing gender differences when humor is written. This study will be published in Evolution and Human Behavior. His study shows that humor most likely evolved to enhance romantic relationships. Women’s desirability does not change when they are laughing with a friend, no matter what gender that friend is. Only when the woman is attempting to add a significant other to her life and gauge his intelligence and ability to help her raise the children or keep finances in order, does she begin considering his sense of humor.
A LITTLE ON BLACK HUMOR
Studies have shown that people, whether male or female, who appreciate and understand dark humor are more intelligent, less aggressive, and have a better mood, than those who do not. The study gathered a small sample of participants and the researches theorized that those who did not understand or enjoy jokes of a darker leaning may have this deficit because of poor mood and a negative outlook. In addition, their aggression may lead to difficulty processing the joke.
Either way, if you enjoy dark humor than you may have the upper hand in sexual relationships, especially if you find a woman who shares your enjoyment.