Date of Award

2023

First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Nancy Bonvillain

Abstract

Humor occurs in many, many forms. Humor and laughter are quite universal, yet experiences are not homogeneous. One major difference in the experience of humor is across gender-identities. This thesis reviewed the prior research on gender differences in humor—both in terms of production of humor (e.g., making jokes) and the appreciation of humor (e.g., responding to jokes). This was reviewed through various psychological perspectives, including Freudian, “Incongruity Theory,” neurocognitive aspects of humor, etc. I conducted a brief survey, to test various hypotheses regarding gender differences. The findings were not entirely conclusive, but did suggest that males and females prefer humor that is relevant for respective gender roles and norms. Future research will hopefully begin to expand to recognize and explore non-binary gender identities in relation to humor production and appreciation.

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