The Best Medicine?


I was surprised how shy you all were on the subject of female aggression earlier in the week"¦ but maybe this will get you talking: a new study on the use of humor in relationships is the cover story of this month's Psychology Today.

According to the article, the men who participated in the study "on average perceived more humor in the couples' conversations, but the women produced more humor, contradicting the stereotype that men are the funnier sex."

This doesn't surprise me at all, seeing as the funniest person I know is one of my best female friends. But the following points from the article did surprise me, because they do seem more or less stereotypical. We'd love to know what you all think about this:

Women tend to use humor as a way of enhancing the relationship Men may use it to enhance their own persona At a family dinner, for example, a woman may retell a story of a comic moment they all shared last Thanksgiving. A man might be more likely to treat the guests as his audience and play for laughs. Men like jokes and slapstick better than women Women tend to find more humor in collaborative storytelling

After the jump, check out some interesting laughing facts, courtesy of our friends over at

The average adult laughs 17 times a day When you laugh, fifteen facial muscles contract and stimulation of the zygomatic major muscle (the main lifting mechanism of your upper lip) occurs. The physiological study of laughter has its own name -- gelotology People are 30 times more likely to laugh in social settings than when they are alone (and without pseudo-social stimuli like television). Even nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, loses much of its oomph when taken in solitude, according to German psychologist Willibald Ruch.