Sex, aggression, and humour: responses to

The question is: does this scare me off wanting a unicycle or does it make me want one even more?

Less than 5% of people—mostly elderly men, women, and teenage girls—showed no reaction. About 1-2% of people expressed anger, distaste, or fear.

More than 90% of people showed a physical response—from an exaggerated stare or acknowledgment to a wave, nod, smile, or a show of mock surprise and fear.


In males the response moved from curiosity in childhood, to physical and verbal aggression in older boys; this became more verbal as the boys matured into men and evolved into the concealed aggression of a repetitive humorous verbal put-down, which was lost with age. In contrast, the female response was praise and concern for safety.

These findings suggest that humour develops from aggression in response to male hormones.

> These findings suggest that humour develops from aggression in response to male hormones.

Big and very problematic non-sequitur. A social fact is observed with a flawed quasi-ethnographical method, biological deductions are far-fetched. Not to mention the gender binary this operates in and the way in which the researcher racialises or assigns ethnicity based apparently on their spontaneous remote judgement, which is racist.

@cadxdr Hmyeah, I quoted this as "hm...", not as "BEHOLD THE TRUTH". Something feels obvious here, and something not quite, but I am sceptical of my instincts. Thank you for putting it better than I could.

@cadxdr @JosteinSN See Rebecca Jordan-Young & Katrina Karkazis' _Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography_ (hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?is) for a good recent look at how "facts" about testosterone are created; and of course Cordelia Fine's _Testosterone Rex_ (wwnorton.com/books/Testosteron) for a more general overview of biological essentialism as an explanation of gender differences

@cadxdr @JosteinSN isn't it so tempting to ascribe potentially problematic behavior to an assumed immutability of biology, rather than take an opportunity to examine the effects of culture as something that can be shifted?

@JosteinSN Very much struck by the lack of reaction of teenage girls, which the author doesn't comment on at all. I know that's the age when I got the most sexual harassment, so I would not have wanted to initiate interactions with strange men.

@yingtai Yes, I'm wary of jumping to in hindsight after all absolutely not obvious conclusions, but it makes sense, doesn't it?

@JosteinSN This aligns pretty closely with my experience

This is such a great way to mock all those verbally aggressive bike-haters out there 😂

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