Eric R. Bressler et al., 2006
Both men and women prefer someone with a "good sense of humor" as a relationship partner. However, two recent studies have shown that men are not attracted to funny women, suggesting the sexes use the phrase good sense of humor differently. To investigate this question, we measured the importance participants placed on a partner’s production of humor vs. receptivity to their own humor. Men emphasized the importance of their partners’ receptivity to their own humor, whereas women valued humor production and receptivity equally. In a second task, participants chose whether they preferred a person who only produced humor or a person who only appreciated their own humor for several types of relationships. Women preferred those who produced humor for all types of relationships, whereas men preferred those who were receptive to their own humor, particularly for sexual relationships. Our results suggest that sexual selection may have operated on men’s and women’s preferences during humorous interaction in dramatically different ways.