Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 57, Issue 9, pp 651-660

First online:

The Rating of Sexist Humor Under Time Pressure as an Indicator of Spontaneous Sexist Attitudes

  • Friederike EysselAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Universität Bielefeld Email author 
  • , Gerd BohnerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Universität Bielefeld

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Spontaneous vs. more controlled indicators of sexist attitudes were assessed in a laboratory experiment with 131 male German undergraduates. Participants rated the funniness of sexist and nonsexist jokes either with or without time pressure, and completed self-report measures of sexism and related constructs. With time pressure, participants showed greater liking for sexist jokes than without. No such effect was found for nonsexist jokes. Both with and without time pressure, sexist joke ratings showed meaningful correlations with standard self-report measures, which attests to the joke measure’s high reliability and construct validity. Directions for future research are discussed.


Gender prejudice Sexism Sexist humor Sexist attitudes Time pressure