Men are naturally more comedic than women because of the male hormone testosterone, an expert claims.
Men make more gags than women and their jokes tend to be more aggressive, Professor Sam Shuster, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says.
I thought I'd start off the new year with this horse pockey from the BBC.
It's another round in the war between the sexes. You can state anything you want as long as you portray women as inferior to men and offer no proof or corroboration for the statement. And it's official when it appears on the BBC!
But I agree that there does seem to be a connection between testosterone and a certain kind of humor.
Research suggests men are more likely to use humour aggressively by making others the butt of the joke.
And aggression - generally considered to be a more masculine trait - has been linked by some to testosterone exposure in the womb.
Professor Shuster believes humour develops from aggression caused by male hormones.
He documented the reaction of over 400 individuals to his unicycling antics through the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne.
I think the prospect of a professor engaged on serious research into the sexuality of humour while riding a unicycle is faintly comic already. Observant men in Newcastle upon Tyne apparently beeped horns, made suggestive remarks, and behaved in what the professor describes as an aggressive fashion. Fewer women reacted to the wheeled Professor with taunts or wisecracks. This, naturally, is the fault of sex and not simple good manners...
"The idea that unicycling is intrinsically funny does not explain the findings," said Professor Shuster.
The simplest explanation, he says, is the effect of male hormones such as testosterone.
As we say in New York, if you believe that, I've got a bridge I want to sell you. There's no research here, no proof, no control, just 'simple explanations'. And it appears that the good Professor did not actually fall off the unicycle, which would have been genuinely entertaining, especially if he kept taking notes on audience reaction in mid-tumble.
Women can and do have a great sense of humor. Many of them even marry jokes! Here are some quotes from a few women who might have a thing or two to say about the Professor's researches, and who might tell him where to put his unicycle:
When you see what some women marry, you realize how they must hate to work for a living-- Helen Rowland
His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork. --Mae West
If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. --Dorothy Parker
A woman's a woman until the day she dies, but a man's only a man as long as he can.--Jackie "Moms" Mabley
If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle. ~Rita Mae Brown
I'd rather rot on my own floor than be found by a bunch of bingo players in a nursing home. --Florence King
and finally, in closing:
There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity -- like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule -- that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel -- it's vulgar.