Prove is a funny word though, isn't it? What does it actually mean to prove something? Does it mean to, you know, confirm truth? Because then in that case I don't think this study published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review actually says what link-bate headlines like the one above and similar ones on every other website in the world today think it means. And what is science anyway? Serious question. I'd consider it a big personal favor if someone could leave the answer to that in the comments below.
Scientific American, a site I always read and didn't just go to because I saw this non-story linked elsewhere, has a summary of this completely racist study, which is great because no fucking way was I actually going to read something called the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. "In a 2007 Vanity Fair article asked: Why are men, taken on average and as a whole, funnier than women?" Because Christopher Hitchens is a humorless prick, we all decided was the answer to that one a while ago, I think.
"Well a recent study finds that men might have a tiny edge over women in producing humor but the gap is too small to account for the stereotype," so in other words, we didn't find shit, but we went through all this work, so here you go anyway. Psychologists are kind of like bloggers in that regard. Usually doesn't amount to anything actually usable, but, well, we sort of tried, so might as well throw what we came up with up against the wall there and hope someone falls for it.
"Scientists had 16 male and 16 female subjects write funny captions for 20 New Yorker magazine cartoons in 45 minutes. Then the captions were rated by a different group of 34 male and 47 female subjects. Men’s captions rated higher on average than women’s captions. But only by a mere 0.11 points out of perfect score of 5.0."
Oh. OK. There's your problem right there. They were testing for humor by using an ability to fill out New Yorker cartoon caption as criteria. Are we sure that sort of data might not have been better spent on figuring out where all the retired English professors who never figured out how to use the internet live? Using that shit as a means to seek out humor-patterns is like testing to see who's better at picking up heavy objects, men or women, by asking them to fart into a paper bag. I declare this study, and therefor all of science, bullshit. And if it helps you to think of this whole thing as funnier by imagining me writing it lying down on a shrink's couch talking to a dog on a desert island, then you're probably a woman New Yorker reader and you have no idea what you're talking about. That's science.