I read the following excerpt of an article on humor from the 2003 Harvard Business Review that I find interesting.
“Female executives in this research consistently used more humor than their male counterparts, but men used more put-down humor. Women were more likely than men to use complimentary humor or humor that otherwise expressed caring, warmth, and support; they used significantly less humor that put down subordinates and marginally less that put down superiors.
Researchers have shown that in interpersonal relations, men tend to assert rather than downplay status differences, while women do the opposite.
Although people of both sexes use humor largely to build bridges, some organizational psychologists believe that for men, put-down humor may also be a way to establish and maintain hierarchical status.