Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

A Woman Walks into a Bar…

Question: Do men and women have a different sense of humor?

Robert Mankoff: Well, there’s some many men and so many women that you can’t generalize about everybody, but to generalize about a lot of people is there does seem to be you know somewhat what a distinction in that the since the roots of humor tend to be somewhat in aggression and fear and in dominance and stuff that men – what it turns is out is that men and women use humor differently. Men use humor often as a way to enhance their self presentation in a social situation – sort of look at me; also to show that they’re the dominant one in this situation. Women seem to use humor much more as a bonding mechanism, an affiliate of mechanism, and that’s the difference between joke humor and sort of conversational humor. It’s clear one of the real differences in our culture would be certainly among adolescent males. You see there’s a lot of insult humor among friends. You rarely see women do this. It’s not like they can’t be mean or anything, but they rarely insult each other as a form of joking.

Women’s humor is much more what’s called affiliative which is I want to make you feel good. I want to reveal something about myself. Here’s like a actual snippet of conversation because they have these conversational databases of humor. It’s two women at swimming pool, and one is saying to the other you know what is this good for your arms, and she goes that like that. In just in doing that, you know they’re fooling around a little bit, and the other woman says you know oh, I think it’s your thighs, and then the first woman said oh my thighs are out of control that’s helpless. And then the other woman says yeah I gained five pounds since I started swimming myself. Now they’re laughing they’re doing it. in other words they’re in this sort of playful mode and everything. You rarely find men through humor revealing something about themselves. Women often use the ambiguity of humor to probe and to find out about the other person, and they tend to like The Three Stooges a lot less than men.

Recorded on:  September 21, 2009

 

Do men and woman have different senses of humor? Cartoonist Robert Mankoff explains how each gender tends to use humor differently: women use it to share something about themselves, and men use it to hide something about themselves.

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less

How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast