Funny women a turnoff for most men

Study finds that men see themselves as the ones who should be delivering the lines.

By Lori Leibovich

Published January 30, 2006 12:10PM (EST)

We all know men are intimidated by smart women. Now there's proof that they're threatened by funny women, too. A study published this week in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behavior claims that while men might appreciate witty women, they don't want long-term relationships with them. Why? Because "men see being funny as a male thing," Rod Martin, author of study, told the Independent.

The study, based on interviews with hundreds of men and women in their 20s, found that one-half of the men did not want a partner with a sense of humor.

"The idea that men are more interested in having an audience rather than sharing banter doesn't really surprise me," British comedian Meera Syal told the Independent. "Women see men with a sense of humor as dangerous and sexy, while men see it as threatening. Basically, what it comes down to is that humor is a mark of intelligence."

Not surprisingly, the study found that men were willing to put aside their prejudice against clever women for hookups and short-term flings. So funny ladies, if you're looking for more than a one-night stand, just keep your mouth shut and laugh at whatever he says.


Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

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