Sex Differences in Humour

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Are there sex differences in humour? Introduction It is common subject of conversation that men and women are different, in various ways. A specific example of this debate is in the humour of men and women and how they may differ between the genders. According to Mundorf (1988), there is a complex pattern of gender differences in the way in which humour is appreciated. He specifically noted that men tend to find greater enjoyment in sexually related humour, regardless of the gender of the person involved. However on the other hand, with hostile humourous scenarios, women find the situation increasingly funny if it is based on a man whereas men find the scenario more funny if it is about a woman. Mundorf (1988) found a complex interaction between gender, humour type and humour-victim gender. Interestingly, Herzog (2009) failed to replicate the findings of Mundorf (1988), therefore a level of controversy remains regarding gender differences in humour appreciation. Gender is often viewed as a system of meanings and influences, affecting access to power and influencing social status (Crawford, 2003). It has been suggested (Crawford, 2003) that both men and women use humour and jokes in both same-gender and mixed situations in order to create a tool for gender construction. The following study aimed to overcome the controversy in this field somewhat, and hoped to provide a clearer understanding and answer to the recurring question of whether there is a significant amount of gender difference in humour appreciation. We hypothesise that there will be a significant effect of gender on humour type. The null hypothesis states that there will be no significant effect of gender on humour type. Method 840 participants took part in the study, 420 female and 420 male. Each participant was presented with various situations or scenarios, and asked to rate
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