A survey of Britain's pubs, bars and nightclubs, carried out jointly by the University of Leicester's Department of Sociology and Nuts! magazine, has revealed that thousands of perfectly healthy single men are being needlessly put down every week.
According to Dr. Alex Greensmith, team leader and an expert on human mating rituals, the average unattached male must suffer at least five or six put-downs every Friday night during their quest for a mate. 'These poor creatures are compelled to roam in predatory circles around, for example, a nightclub, armed with only the flimsiest chat up lines. They simply don't stand a chance against the barbed defences of the female of the species.'
Dr. Greensmith lays the blame for the increasing number of put downs squarely at the feet of irresponsible family members: 'I literally blame the parents,' he wrote, 'the days of the man-to-man chat down the pub with one's father while mum makes a start on the Sunday roast has been replaced with sterile sex education and unrealistic internet porn, leaving many young men woefully unprepared for slings and arrows such as the simple 'piss off dickhead' and the more sophisticated 'how do I like my eggs in the morning? Unfertilised thank you'.'
The study also reveals a worrying rise in the use of so-called 'status quips' - cruel put-downs invented by gangs of club-going females and used to psychologically and emotionally maim the single man. 'It's not unusual to for young men to be subjected to 'they broke the mould when they made you - during the casting process by the look of it,' or 'I've got a soft spot for you - at the bottom of the garden next to the leaky septic tank,' at least once a fortnight.'
The report has however drawn criticism from many academics, who believe that the increase in put-downs is merely a symptom of the narrowing gender gap in British society. 'Men just need to up their game,' claims feminist historian Prof. Sheila McGee, 'or else they're simply proving themselves unworthy of our attention by their lack of eloquence.' Prof. McGee is set to debate the issue with Dr. Greensmith at a forthcoming symposium at the annual social sciences conference: 'I'm looking forward to the challenge immensely - but if he tries any of that 'you must have a mirror in your knickers 'cos I can see myself in them' crap again, I shall retort with a robustly researched knee in the bollocks.'