The Effects of Sexist Humor on Perceptions of Unrelated Events
Jett, Steven T.
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It was hypothesized that exposure to sexist humor creates an atmosphere of sexist approval, thereby facilitating sexist perceptions of social interactions. It was predicted that participants who scored high on the hostile sexism scale would be swayed to a greater degree after exposure to sexist humor relative to participants who scored low on the hostile sexism scale. The hypothesis was tested by examining responses to vignettes describing a sexist and a nonsexist event after exposure to sexist humor. College students (N = 73) rated the amount of humor, the extent to which the situation should be taken seriously, and the entertainment of the sexist event. For the nonsexist event, participants rated the competence of a female professor (or a male professor depending upon the condition) involved in a student-teacher interaction. The hypothesis was confirmed for the sexist event, but not for the nonsexist event. Future research addressing the facilitating effect of sexist humor on perceptions of a nonsexist event was suggested.