That’s NOT a defense

If your argument that the science is wrong and women are too funny relies upon Sarah Silverman, then you’ve got no chance at all:

We then calculated sex differences on the combined sample and found that men were, overall, rated as funnier than women. How big was the difference? In statistical technical terms, the effect size was 0.32, or roughly one-third of the standard deviation. In plain English, this means that 63 percent of men score above the mean humor ability of women. This is considered a small to medium difference.

We also looked for a long list of possible confounding variables that might explain the difference. The countries where the data come from, the sex of the authors doing the research, age of participants, whether there were more men or women judging the humor—none of it made a difference in our analysis.

What does it all mean? It means that to the best of our knowledge, on average, men appear to have higher humor production ability than women. Note that I emphasized the word average because the study does not mean, as Christopher Hitchens famously proclaimed, that women are not funny. The fact that men, on average, appear to be funnier than women, does not imply that every single man is funnier than every single woman. There are many great female comedians such as Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Ali Wong and historically, Lucille Ball, Joan Rivers, and many, many more. All these great comedians are funnier than 99.9 percent of all men.

As a general rule, men perform for women rather than the reverse. So it should hardly be surprising, or controversial, that the average man’s ability to do so is considerably more honed than the average woman’s.

Needless to say, female comedians are taking it well.

“I really think it’s unnecessary to do this study,” Marina Bye, a female comedian, told BBC. “They could have done something progressive.”


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