If you’ve ever heard a cheesy riddle or pun that your dad (or grandpa) threw out, it was probably a dad joke. But while these jokes get a lot of grief, some experts say they could actually be good for kids.
It’s easy to see why people groan at dad jokes: They often rely on a certain level of wordplay that can only be understood by men of a certain age, and most of them are based on puns. While professional comics used to traffic in this type of humor, it’s fallen out of fashion as they’ve focused on more original material and a personal point of view. Dad jokes have also popped up on social media, with sites like the r/dadjokes subreddit boasting over 1 million followers.
But while these jokes can get a laugh from some adults, they may be the least funny to children. In fact, a recent study found that kids who are exposed to more dad jokes are more likely to show signs of depression.
The researchers believe this is because dad jokes are “weaponized anti-humor,” meaning they’re meant to elicit a laugh from an audience of mostly men of a certain age by mocking their social group. But a different study conducted by a psychologist at Aarhus University in Denmark found that while teasing and rough play can be damaging to some children, the groans they produce are actually beneficial, teaching them that it’s normal to feel embarrassed. bad dad jokes