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 nonhumorous sexist communication or neutral humor, and (2) due to this ‘relaxed’ normative standard in the context of sexist humor, men high in hostile sexism anticipated feeling less self-directed negative affect upon imagining that they had behaved in a sexist manner. Finally, exposure to sexist humor did not affect the evaluative content of men's stereotypes of women relative to exposure to neutral humor or nonhumorous sexist communication for participants high or low in hostile sexism. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.