MANILA, Philippines—Sense of humor trumps good looks.
Someone who is funny but ugly or unattractive is preferred by nine in 10 adult Filipinos to someone who is good-looking but has no sense of humor, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Wednesday shows.
This was the sentiment shared by majority of the respondents in all areas with those choosing sense of humor over good looks accounted for 92 percent in Metro Manila, 90 percent in both Balance Luzon and Visayas and 88 percent in Mindanao, results of the fourth quarter 2013 survey showed.
By locale, 91 percent in overall rural areas and 89 percent in overall urban areas chose sense of humor, SWS said.
The survey, conducted on Dec. 11 to 16, 2013, asked 1,550 adults nationwide the question: Which of these two statements will you choose: a man/woman who is ugly/unattractive but can make you laugh or has sense of humor, or man/woman who is good-looking but has no sense of humor?
When grouped by class, the survey found that there was a stronger preference for sense of humor among classes D and E. Ninety percent among class D and 91 percent among class E chose sense of humor over good looks. These figures were higher than the 79 percent who chose sense of humor among class ABC.
Conversely, the proportion of those who chose someone good-looking but has no sense of humor was higher among class ABC at 20 percent compared to classes D and E, both at 9 percent, SWS said.
The survey also found that women (94 percent) preferred sense of humor compared to men (86 percent). Among men, 13 percent chose good looks over sense of humor versus the 6 percent among women.
While the preference for sense of humor was dominant in both sexes and classes, more men in the upper classes chose good looks than their counterparts in the lower classes.
Thirty-five percent of men among class preferred good looks to sense of humor, compared to the 12 percent and 93 percent of men among class D and class E, respectively.
Sense of humor was preferred by 90 percent and 87 percent of men in class E and class D, respectively while a lower 65 percent of men in class ABC chose sense of humor.
SWS also found that there was stronger preference for sense of humor among those with less formal education.
Ninety-two percent among those who have at most some elementary education and 94 percent among elementary graduates chose sense of humor, slightly higher than the 89 percent among high school graduates and the 81 percent among college graduates.
On the other hand, 18 percent among college graduates preferred good looks, higher than the 10 percent among high school students, the 7 percent among those with at most some elementary education and the 6 percent among elementary graduates.
Stronger preference for good looks among those with more formal education was more pronounced among men. It was 28 percent among college graduates compared to the 15 percent among high school graduates and 8 percent among both elementary graduates and with at most some elementary education.
Among women, preference for sense of humor was consistently high across education levels, ranging from 89 percent to 96 percent.
Preference for sense of humor was dominant across civil status but singles were almost twice as likely to prefer good looks over those who were in a committed relationship, with 14 percent among singles and 8 percent for both with partners and those who were married choosing good looks, SWS said.
Single men had the highest preference for good looks at 18 percent, compared to married men at 12 percent and men with partners at 10 percent.
Among women, preference for sense of humor hardly varied by civil status. It was 95 percent among those who married, 93 percent among those with partners and 89 percent among singles.
The noncommissioned survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.5 percentage points for national percentages, plus-or-minus 4 percentage points for Visayas and plus-or-minus 6 percentage points for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao.