The effect of sexist humor on women's social influence

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kyle Richardson (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Thomas Ford

Abstract: For people high in sexism, humor that disparages women diminishes women and trivializesdiscrimination against them (Ford, Boxer, Armstrong, & Edel, 2008). The present study buildson the existing findings by examining how sexist humor affects the degree to which women canexert social influence in a virtual Asch line-judgment paradigm. Latane (1981) demonstratedthat a person’s status affects the degree to which he or she can influence others; higher statuspeople can exert greater social influence. The participants’ level of conformity was measured bythe number of times they conformed to incorrect line-judgments given by female confederatesfollowing exposure to either sexist or neutral humor. I hypothesized that by trivializing anddiminishing women, sexist humor has status-lowering effects and weakens women’s ability toexert social influence, resulting in less conformity from men high in hostile sexism. Myhypothesis was not supported. The results revealed no significant main or interaction effects ofhostile sexism, type of humor, or sex of the confederate on conformity.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
conformity, disparagement humor, prejudice, sexism, social influence, stereotyping
Sexism -- Humor -- Psychological aspects
Women -- Social conditions -- Psychological aspects
Social influence -- Psychological aspects

Email this document to