girls were more likely to use self-directed humor to facilitate discussion of personal experiences, whereas fifth-grade boys, like college-age men, were more likely to use it to minimize the importance of a self-revelation or to divert attention away from an uncomfortable topic. In short, we found older girls and women to use self-directed humor to increase, and conversely, older boys and men to use self-directed humor to decrease interpersonal vulnerability.
To date, we have by no means completed our work on gender differences in conversational humor, and there are still a number of issues involving ethnicity and development that we set out to explore, but as of yet have not been able to address fully. However, what we have accomplished so far is to set an agenda for the study of a wide range of phenomena involving conversational humor, which we hope to address further and invite others to follow.
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