Why a sense of humor is better than good looks

Posted at 02/12/2014 8:51 PM | Updated as of 02/14/2014 11:21 AM

MANILA -- Ever wondered why Vic Sotto and the late Dolphy are known to be really popular with the ladies?

According to a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday, nine in 10 Filipinos prefer partners who have a sense of humor instead of good looks.

Ninety percent of adult respondents in the SWS Fourth Quarter 2013 survey said they will choose choose "a man/woman who is ugly/unattractive but can make you laugh or has a sense of humor."

In comparison, only 10% said they prefer "a man/woman who is good-looking but has no sense of humor," according to the survey held from December 11 to 16.

The trend is more significant among Filipinas (96%), who want their partner to be funny instead of plain hunky.

Meanwhile, 86% of male respondents chose sense of humor over beauty.

"While preference for sense of humor over good looks was dominant in all sex and classes, more men in the upper classes prefer good looks than their lower class counterparts," the SWS said.

The triumph of humor over good looks was most profound in Metro Manila (92%), followed by Luzon (90%), the Visayas (90%), and Mindanao (88%).

"By locale, 91% in overall rural areas chose sense of humor, while it was 89% in overall urban areas," the SWS said.

Social status had little effect on romantic preferences of Filipinos, according to the survey.

People in the upper and middle classes also preferred humor over good looks (79%), just slightly lower than those in the lower classes of society (90%).

"Among women, preference for sense of humor over good looks did not vary by class: it was consistently high at 94% among class D, and 93% among classes ABC and E," the SWS said.

Those who had less formal education had stronger preference for sense of humor (94% among elementary-only graduates), compared to the 80% of respondents who graduated from college who want their partners to be funny.

"Among women, preference for sense of humor was consistently high across education, ranging from 89% to 96%," the SWS said.

The SWS survey covered 1,550 adults across the country, with a sampling error margin of plus/minus 2.5%.

It said the survey was not commissioned, but done on SWS' own initiative and released as public service.