The Enjoyment of Sexist Humor, Rape Attitudes, and Relationship Aggression in College Students

Abstract

The current study tested Freud's (1905/1960)theory that sexist humor may be associated withhostility toward women and extended previous researchshowing a link between hostile humor and aggression.Colleges students (N = 399 — approximately 92%white, 5% African American, and 3% other minorities)rated 10 sexist jokes on their perceived funniness.Results showed that the enjoyment of sexist humor waspositively correlated with rape-related attitudes andbeliefs, the self-reported likelihood of forcing sex,and psychological, physical, and sexual aggression inmen. For women, the enjoyment of sexist humor was only positively correlated with Adversarial SexualBeliefs and Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence. Womenalso found the jokes to be less enjoyable, lessacceptable, and more offensive than the men, but they were not significantly less likely to tell thejokes.

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Ryan, K.M., Kanjorski, J. The Enjoyment of Sexist Humor, Rape Attitudes, and Relationship Aggression in College Students. Sex Roles 38, 743–756 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018868913615

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Keywords

  • College Student
  • Social Psychology
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Sexual Aggression
  • Relationship Aggression