Recently, I conducted two consecutive polls on my Instagram regarding the qualities we look for in our romantic partner. It came to me as no surprise since the first poll indicated that 80% of participants want their partners to have a good sense of humor whereas the result of the second poll threw me into the pit of a puzzle.
The second poll revealed that 100% of the participants want to make their partners laugh rather than laughing at their jokes.
Now it baffles me that if everyone desires their partners to have a good sense of humor and also only want their humor to be appreciated by making them laugh disregarding whether they make you laugh or not, then what's the point of ranking sense of humor as the top component?
It felt like an endless linear sequence where the lines will never cross and form a star-crossed pair. It was disheartening as well as confusing and pointless to me and I'm sure to the readers as well.
Later on, to get out of the disheartened state, I conducted a different poll and realized I was weighing the erroneous component. This time the knot was untangled along with the discovery that most men prefer their partner to be pretty/smart rather than funny whereas most women prefer a sense of humor above all.
Now the question surfaces- is there a correlation between gender and humor?
A research conducted by Robert R. Provine, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, found that women were two times more likely to seek a mate who could make them laugh. Another research showed that women chose the funnier men as potential dates, but men showed no preference for the funny women.
These findings demonstrate that the sexes approach humor from different angles. It can further be associated with the poll that I conducted where one of the participants expressed that his partner doesn't necessarily have to be funny, more so she has to understand his jokes and for that reason, he prefers a sense of humor over a pretty face. This entails that appreciating their jokes is more desirable to the male counterpart rather than having a good laugh.
The Swaddle team illustrated that in ancient times, humor was considered to be the male domain and the evolutionary studies of the 18th century demonstrated that men were required to have a sense of humor because it was considered as a sign of intelligence and a better chance at finding suitable female mates.
It further illustrated that from the 17th century to the 1970s, it was a rampant belief that women aren't capable of producing humor and many male scholars argued that women were too cold or too passionate to be funny.
Sigmund Freud provided medical reasoning that women's brains were physiologically wired in such a way that they couldn't produce humor. Well, I wouldn't personally rely on Freud's theory or theories.
But there have been many successful female comedians and this is one of the indicators of rebutting this traditional belief that women aren't funny.
Additionally, critically acclaimed shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fleabag, and Chewing Gum (my personal favorites) correspond to refuting the once mainstream opinion. Although, Lizz Winstead once expressed that those who believe women aren't funny- are becoming the exception, but sometimes the exceptions have the loudest mouths.
Nevertheless, humor has always been present simultaneously if you assess the work of female scholars such as Jane Austin and Virginia Woolf. They used humor in a seditious way which wasn't appreciated since it went against the traditional cultural norm of subservient femininity. Such distorted notions paved and shaped the way of comedy for men exclusively.
However, things are changing since many women are entering into professional comedy and challenging biased ideas through representation in the entertainment industry.
Although, the traditional stereotypical perception is still somehow lurking around in day-to-day life. In my humble opinion, such an extremely limiting opinion will not hinder the appreciation of humor throughout the globe. And as per my optimistic view, the anatomical differences between genders have nothing to do with cracking and appreciating, and understanding jokes.