Why Women Laugh more than Men

Why do women laugh more than men? What a fascinating question. I never would have given this a first, much less a second thought, but in 2000, a study was actually done on this very subject.

Robert Provine, a Neuroscientist who studies behavior, did a study where he listened in on 1200 people and their general conversations to get data on their laughter. Provine studied two person conversations in malls and other public places and recorded their laughter; who laughed, what gender they were, and who the listener was.

The conclusion that Provine came to in his study was that women laughed more than men in everyday conversations, and that women laugh more than twice as often as men do when they are the speakers and the men are the listeners.

Although Provine’s research concludes that women do laugh more than men, the reason as to why is not clear. The doctor attributes his findings to social status. “People with higher status get more laughs, and people with lower status laugh more.” This makes me wonder, because the article does not say, if Provine puts women in a lower social class than men?

If I were to venture my own guess as to why women laugh more than men, I would say because we do not take things nearly as seriously. Women have the ability, at least in my experience, to make light of things that men can’t. This is just one woman’s opinion, of course, and others may think differently based on their own experiences.

One of the things that Dr. Provine said was that the majority of “class clowns” are men, which is true if we think about it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have never run in to a woman who was given the title of class clown. What this tells me is that men are the jokers and women are the ones laughing at their jokes. Is it a way to make men feel important or special? Possibly. Boosting a man’s ego is a sure fire way to get him to pay attention to you.

There can be many conclusions drawn as to why woman laugh more than men, and most likely the majority of them would be correct, depending on the situation. One thing is for sure, though. If laughter is the best medicine, then men, you need to get with the program or we women will outlive you all!

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