A surprising number of women have asked me why men laugh at farts. Although I never really thought about it before, I have to admit, men do tend to find bodily functions funnier than most women seem to do. So what’s the reason?

The reason probably mainly lies in upbringing and social expectations. Boys and men generally aren’t expected to be particularly graceful. Being somewhat rude at times is often actually encouraged – mostly by other men. Meanwhile, they’re usually discouraged from showing emotions that might appear to display “weakness”, such as shame. So it shouldn’t be surprising if men act amused rather than embarrassed when they let one rip.

That said, there are plenty of women who also laugh at farts. And honestly, laughing is probably not that bad an option. Everybody passes wind sometimes, and when it happens you can laugh, act ashamed or pretend nothing happened. Out of those choices, laughing easily seems to be the best one. If you’re going to have to endure the smell anyway, you might as well at least get a laugh out of it.