Do you believe humor can be classified as sexist/prejudice?
If so, do you think such types of humor can have a negative effect?
What sort of relationship do you think there is between outcomes and sexist humor? Do you think it's more that people who are likely to express sexist humor are sexist and thus more likely to behave in ways arguably sexist or do you think there's a causal effect in which people who are exposed to sexist humor are more likely to then behave in a sexist way.
1. Sexist beliefs -> Sexist behaviour/humor
2. Sexist humor -> Sexist behaviour/beliefs
Is it bi-directional so are correct? Is this effect insignificant or is it a valid issue to try and effect in the workplace and other places? What do you think is the overall effect of humor? What do jokes reflect about a person really and regardless of what they reflect, what effect do they have regardless of intention?
Does belonging to the group one disparage change anything or is sexism sexism no matter where it comes from?
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 sexism and discriminatory behavior among men. Thus,understanding the social consequences of sexist humor is a critical project for research in social psychology. The purpose of our paper is to provide researchers with a conceptual framework for organizing and evaluating empirical research and theories on sexist humor. We divided research on sexist humor into two categories: direct effects and indirect effects. Research on direct effects addresses questions about variables tha tmoderate the interpretation of sexist humor as benign amusement versus a reprehensible expression of sexism. Research on indirect effects considers questions about the broader social consequences of exposure to sexist humor. For instance, "how does exposure to sexist humor affect the way people think about women and their perceptions of discrimination against women?" and "does sexist humor promote sexist behavior among men?" For each category of research, we describe representative empirical research and theoretical frameworks used to guide that research. Importantly,we also raise important issues or questions that require further empirical research or theoretical development. We hope that this research will cultivate further interest in theoretically guided empirical research on sexist humor.
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 related to societal sexism. An experiment supported our hypothesis that men higher in hostile sexist attitudes express beliefs that justify the gender status-quo to a greater degree after exposure to sexist humor versus neutral humor or non-humorous sexist material.Specifically, male participants higher in hostile sexism reported greater acceptance of current gender relations and greater acceptance of societal devaluation of women after reading sexist jokes than after reading neutral(nonsexist) jokes or non-humorous sexist material.
THE ROLE OF SOCIAL CONTEXT IN THE INTERPERTATION OF SEXSIT HUMOR
Humor researchers have emphasized the role that sex differences and attitudes toward women play in moderating amusement with sexist humor. In-group/out-group conflict and the adherence to hostile sexist attitudes have been shown to accurately determine the evaluation of sexist humor. The present research contributes to this literature by addressing the role that the social context plays in determining whether people adopt a humor mindset versus a serious mindset for interpreting sexist humor. We hypothesized that the norms of some social contexts(office) discourage the adoption of a non-serious "humor mindset" for interpreting sexist humor,leading people to perceive the humor as offensive. In contrast, the norms of other contexts(comedy club) encourage the adoption of a non-serious humor mindset, causing people to perceive the humor as less offensive. One hundred eighteen women and 84 men were prompted to imagine themselves in a comedy club, office or neutral setting and then asked to rate both sexist and neutral jokes in terms of offensiveness. It was found that imagining oneself in a comedy club significantly reduces offensiveness ratings of sexist humor. The office context had the opposite effect, where offensiveness ratings increased. Thus the adoption of a non-critical humor mindset can be manipulated by social context. The evaluation of sexist humor is not merely a function of gender in-group/out-group differences or attitudes towards women. The social context in which the jokes were told is also an influential piece to the puzzle.
Irony of ironies?: ‘Meta-disparagement’ humor and its impact on prejudice
“Meta-disparagement” humor refers to jokes that explicitly target a minority while implicitly ridiculing those who would laugh at the joke at face value. Through the use of irony, an implicit bigot is summoned as the true joke target. But at an explicit level, these jokes are offensive perpetuations of stereotypes. Thus, while meta-disparagement humor purports to undermine stereotypes, it may in fact reinforce and perpetuate them. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, this dissertation investigates this possibility vis-ŕ-vis humor that targets women, blacks, gay people, and Arabs. A discursive textual analysis of this type of humor in popular television series reveals that meta-disparagement humor most often derives from “hyperbole of prejudice” to ultimately critique political correctness. For all four groups, metadisparagement humor is a double-edged phenomenon, indulging in stereotypes to ridicule them. A quantitative content analysis of the same television series determinesthe prevalence of and power dynamics embedded in this type of humor. A survey establishes baseline attitudes towards these groups. Finally, a series of six experiments tests the effects meta-disparagement versus direct disparagement humor of the four groups of interest on attitudes towards these groups using a variety of outcome variables. Overall, the experiments point to negative effects of this type of humor, such that stereotypes are more salient and impact subsequent judgments.
Sexual Harassment and the Communication ConundrumThe rise in both sexual harassment complains and litigation has made many companies react with strict no tolerance policies causing widespread concern among emplyoees that anything they say might be misconstrued and lead to their termination. This fear is largely unjustified. Most people understand what is being said and do not misinterpret offhand and innocent remarks as sexually harassing. This paper examines some of the areas where the sexes are in agreement as to what does and does not constitute sexual harassment. In doing so, certain forms of behaviour are discerned that pose a particular problem. By pinpointing specific areas where communication is especially ambigious, educators and trainers can focus their resources and dramatically reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.