More Than “Just a Joke”: The Prejudice-Releasing Function of Sexist Humor

  title={More Than “Just a Joke”: The Prejudice-Releasing Function of Sexist Humor},
  author={Thomas E. Ford and Christie F. Boxer and Jacob Armstrong and Jessica R. Edel},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  pages={159 - 170}
The results of two experiments supported the hypothesis that, for sexist men, exposure to sexist humor can promote the behavioral release of prejudice against women. Experiment 1 demonstrated that hostile sexism predicted the amount of money participants were willing to donate to a women's organization after reading sexist jokes but not after reading nonhumorous sexist statements or neutral jokes. Experiment 2 showed that hostile sexism predicted the amount of money participants cut from the… 

Figures from this paper

Sexist Humor and Beliefs that Justify Societal Sexism

Research suggests that sexist humor creates a context that justifies the expression of prejudice against women. The present research investigates whether sexist humor has broader social consequences

Sexist Humor and Rape Proclivity: The Moderating Role of Joke Teller Gender and Severity of Sexual Assault

It is demonstrated that the relationship between hostile sexism and rape proclivity in response to a moderately violent rape scenario after exposure to sexist humor generalizes beyond women in the immediate humor context to women as a whole.

A Framework for Thinking about the (not-so-funny) Effects of Sexist Humor

The prevalence of sexist humor in popular culture and its disguise as benign amusement or “just a joke” give it potential to cultivate distress and harassment for women and to facilitate tolerance of

Romanian college students' reactions to sexist humor: description and predictors

Sexist humor is pervasive in Romanian culture, as it is in many others. Adopting a social constructionist perspective, we examined the reactions of Romanian college students to three sexist jokes, as

It’s just a (sexist) joke: comparing reactions to sexist versus racist communications

Abstract Two experiments test whether using humor moderates the effect of the type of prejudice (racist or sexist) on evaluations of discriminatory communications. Experiment 1 examined a) the

What Did He Mean by that? Humor Decreases Attributions of Sexism and Confrontation of Sexist Jokes

Sexist humor may be more difficult to confront than serious expressions of sexism because humor disguises the biased nature of the remark. The present research investigated whether delivering a

The Effect of Sexist Humor on Women's Sense of Possible-Selves

Social identity theory encourages the importance of maintaining a positive self-image, and positive view of one’s own group (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). A person’s sense of possible-selves (the

The effect of sexist humor on women's social influence

For people high in sexism, humor that disparages women diminishes women and trivializesdiscrimination against them (Ford, Boxer, Armstrong, & Edel, 2008). The present study buildson the existing

Gender differences in using humor to respond to sexist jokes

Abstract We examine the degree to which women and men use humor to confront sexist jokes. We also test the social benefits and perceived effectiveness of confronting with humor.

Sexist Humor and Sexual Aggression Against Women: When Sexist Men Act According to Their Own Values or Social Pressures

This research contributes to the understanding of the influence of sexist humor and motivational orientations in sexist men on the expression of aggressive sexual behaviors directed against women.



Effects of exposure to sexist humor on perceptions of normative tolerance of sexism.

The results of an experiment supported the hypotheses that (1) for men high in hostile sexism, exposure to sexist humor creates a perceived social norm of tolerance of sexism relative to exposure to

Effects of Sexist Humor on Tolerance of Sexist Events

The results of three experiments supported the hypothesis that exposure to sexist humor increases tolerance of sex discrimination among people high in hostile sexism. The results of Experiment 1

Individual Differences in Reactions to Sexist Humor

This research investigated the relation between sexism, general prejudice, and reactions to sexist humor. Eighty-one male participants completed measures of modern sexism, ambivalent sexism,

The Enjoyment of Sexist Humor, Rape Attitudes, and Relationship Aggression in College Students

The current study tested Freud's (1905/1960)theory that sexist humor may be associated withhostility toward women and extended previous researchshowing a link between hostile humor and

Ambivalent Sexism and the Dumb Blonde: Men's and Women's Reactions to Sexist Jokes

This article examines the relationship between gender, hostile sexism, benevolent sexism and reactions to a seemingly innocuous genre of sexist humor, the dumb blonde joke. After hearing an

The role of humor in the interpretation of sexist incidents

This study investigated the role of humor, gender, and sexist attitudes toward women in the interpretation of sexist incidents. Thirty female and thirty male university students rated the

Social Consequences of Disparagement Humor: A Prejudiced Norm Theory

  • T. E. FordMark A Ferguson
  • Psychology
    Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc
  • 2004
A “prejudiced norm theory” is introduced that specifies the social-psychological processes by which exposure to disparagement humor uniquely affects tolerance of discrimination against members of groups targeted by the humor.

Gender and Personality Differences in the Appreciation of Cartoon Humor

Abstract This study focused on the influences of gender, profeminist attitude toward sex roles, self-esteem, and dominance on the appreciation of sexist and absurd cartoons. We developed a humor

The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory : Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexism

The authors present a theory of sexism formulated as ambivalence toward women and validate a corresponding measure, the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI). The ASI taps 2 positively correlated