, Volume 20, Issue 11-12, pp 649-654

Humor appreciation as a function of sexual, aggressive, and sexist content

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Abstract

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the relationship between the rated sex, aggression, and sexism values of cartoons with their rated funniness values. Multiple regression analyses indicated that for women, only sexism values correlated with cartoon funniness, albeit negatively. For men, however, only sex values correlated (positively) with cartoon funniness. The results were interpreted by Zillmann's social predisposition theory. Women, more likely having been victims of sex discrimination, identified with the cartoon victim and thus found sexist cartoons less funny. Men, because of their social history, made no such identification and were more aware of the sexual aspects of the cartoons. This influenced their funniness ratings of the cartoons, which replicated previous research.