Women Find This Type Of Humor Most Attractive, According To A New Study


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist


You might want to think about getting rid of that George Carlin gag on your Tinder profile. Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

Humor is one of the quickest ways to the heart. Scientific studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, can tell you that humor is one of the most desirable qualities when it comes to the art of attraction.

However, not everybody’s funny bone gets tickled in the same way. A new study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, has sought to find whether women find clean humor or dirty jokes more attractive. It turns out, crude humor can be a big turn-off to women, unless they have a relaxed attitude toward casual sex.  


Psychologists from the University of Southern Mississippi gathered nearly 100 heterosexual women with an average age of 21 and reeled off a load of dirty and clean jokes.

Now for the part you've been waiting. Here are two of the dirty jokes used in the study:

  • A man walked into the doctor's office and said: “Doctor, I have five penises.” “I see,” said the doctor. “‘How do your trousers fit?” “Like a glove.”
  • Two drunks were sitting at the bar, staring into their drinks. One said: ‘Hey, you ever seen an ice cube with a hole in it before?’ The other said: ‘Sure. I’ve been married to one for eighteen years.’

And one of the clean jokes:

  • A couple are sitting in their living room, sipping wine. Out of the blue, the wife says, “I love you.” “Is that you or the wine talking?” asks the husband. “It's me,” says the wife. “Talking to the wine.”

First, the women were simply asked to rate how funny they found the different jokes. For a separate part of the study, they were then shown dating profiles of random guys, which the researchers randomly paired with either a crude joke or a clean joke for each woman. The women then rated the men on how sexually attractive they found them


Overall, the guys that kept it clean were the most attractive for both long-term relationships and short-term hookups, although clean jokers were seen as especially desirable for long-term relationships.

Not all of the women were against dirty jokes, however. The researchers found that women who had relaxed attitudes towards casual sex tended to enjoy dirty jokes considerably more than women with a more “restricted” attitude towards sex.

“The finding that women prefer ostensibly benevolent humorists and that there is a general motivation to engage in benevolent humor use across contexts is consistent with previous research,” the study authors conclude.

In sum, cracking unoffensive jokes makes you appear more benevolent, kind-hearted, and thoughtful. So, you might want to think about getting rid of that George Carlin gag in your Tinder profile. 


  • tag
  • sex,

  • funny,

  • men,

  • women,

  • sexuality,

  • humor,

  • dating,

  • joke,

  • attraction,

  • dirty humour