London, Mar 10 : Brits' penchant for cruel comedy at the cost of others is dictated by their genes, according to a new research.
The nation's obsession with sarcasm and self-deprecation has been a source of perplexity to other countries for a long time now, but now scientists have discovered just what makes sense of humour so unique.
"It is possible that differences exist between nations in their sense of humour and that these may be the results of different genetic and environmental differences," the Telegraph quoted Dr Rod Martin, the lead researcher, as saying.
"The British may have a greater tolerance for a wide range of expressions of humour, including what many Americans might consider aggressively sarcastic or denigrating," he added.
The research was based on a survey of 5,000 people, which included 2,000 pairs of twins in the UK and 500 pairs in North America.
"Positive humour", which looked on the bright side of life, was found in twins on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, "negative humour", which ranged from gentle teasing to racist and sexist humiliation, was only genetically linked to Britain.