Recent research suggests that while both men and women say they like a “good sense of humor” in a potential mate, they differ in what they mean by this phrase.

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Consistent with this, Robert Provine analyzed more than 3000 singles ads and found that women were more likely to describe their good humor appreciation ability whereas men were more likely to offer good humor production ability.

Gil Greengross and Geoffrey Miller found in a sample of 400 university students that general intelligence and verbal intelligence both predicted humor production ability (writing captions for cartoons), which in turn predicted lifetime number of sexual partners (a proxy of reproductive success).

They found, however, that males showed higher average levels of humor production ability, which is consistent with the sexual selection perspective.

From these results, Greengross argues that a sense of humor evolved at least partly through sexual selection as an intelligence indicator.

Among 11,191 sexually active MSM, 76% reported a casual male partner. Lower number of casual partners was associated with black race, Hispanic ethnicity, and having a main sex partner in the previous year.

Factors associated with a higher number included gay identity, exchange sex, both injection and non-injection drug use.

MSM who were black, Hispanic or had a main sex partner reported fewer casual sex partners.

Our results suggest specific populations of MSM who may benefit most from interventions to reduce casual partner numbers.

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Data are from the first MSM cycle of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system, conducted from 2003 to 2005.