Men really can laugh women into bed – with a good sense of humor making men seem more intelligent and more likely to be big-earners.
A study recruited 162 women for a speed-dating style experiment where they were shown photographs of six men.
Each man was said to have provided a statement as an ‘icebreaker’, which was a funny joke, an unfunny joke or a bland statement about their favorite color or pizza.
The men were all similar-looking, having been chosen because women rated them as averagely attractive.
But when women thought the man in the photograph had made a funny joke, they were significantly more likely to say they would give him their phone number.
Women don’t just prefer funny men – they also think they’re more intelligent and earn more (stock image)
Sadly, for men not blessed with killer wit, unfunny men were no more likely to get a woman’s phone number than those who made no attempt at humor, the study found.
A follow-up experiment showed why funny men may get the girl.
When 81 women were asked to judge photographs of eight men, half of whom had made a funny joke, while half had made an unfunny joke, they typically rated the funny men as more intelligent.
They also rated them as having higher earning potential than unfunny men.
Dr Mitch Brown, who led the study from the University of Arkansas, said: ‘Funny men may appear more competent to women, as shown by them perceiving them to be more intelligent in their study.
When women thought the man in the photograph had made a funny joke, they were significantly more likely to say they would give him their phone number
‘If women believe that to be the case, they might believe men will do better in their careers, know more people, know how to play the game, and earn more money.’
The study, published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, says men use humor as a way to signal to women that they are interested and to connect with them by laughing together.
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Women also seem to appreciate an attempt at humor from men, even if it falls flat – with the study finding they rated funny and unfunny men similarly highly for friendliness.
However, the experiment with 162 women found females expected men to be more successful in attracting a partner if they were funny.
Women were asked to rate men’s friendliness, likely dating success, and how likely they would be to give them their phone number after seeing the photographs and the statements the men had apparently made.
There is a risk with men making jokes, that this could make them seem warm, kind and like good boyfriend material, or it could backfire and make them look like untrustworthy show-offs who are interested in playing the field.
To test which view women had, researchers asked 108 women to rate the men with funny and unfunny statements on whether they would choose them for a long-term relationship.
Funny men were preferred for long-term relationships, suggesting they are seen as good, committed partners.
They were also preferred by women for short-term relationships – although with less of an advantage over unfunny men.
The ‘funny’ men in the study were given statements which women were previously found to judge amusing, such as ‘The past, present and future were having an argument. It was tense.’
Another example included: ‘Cremation – my only hope for a smoking hot body.’
The unfunny men were given jokes like: ‘What do you call a tiger with glasses? A scientist tiger.’
Women do seem to like a good sense of humor, but good looks appear to still be important, as a group of 141 women typically ranked funny men as even more desirable when their photograph was attractive rather than unattractive.