Discussing Sexism: the Influence of Sexist Humor on Judgement and Adoption of Sexism
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Humor is used in various social settings to surprise people and excite them, but could be used in more negative contexts as well. For example, sexist humor can loosen up social norms, which could make sexism more acceptable. This experiment focused on this combination of humor and sexism. Hypothesized was that humor will cause a less negative view on a sexist commenter and that humorous sexism will provoke an increase in state sexism in observers. One hundred participants between the age of 16 and 26 took part in a questionnaire containing a video. In one condition, the video showed a person making a humorless sexist comment. In the other condition, the person made a sexist joke. An ANCOVA with condition as fixed factor and sexist trait as covariate showed that people who observe humorous sexist behavior are more likely to display sexist attitudes themselves. There was no significant difference between the comment condition and joke condition regarding the attitude or judgement of participants towards the sexist commenter.