Sexist humor in Facebook profiles: Perceptions of humor targeting women and men

Megan Strain, Donald Saucier, Amanda Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Despite advances in women's equality, and perhaps as a result of it, sexist humor is prevalent in society. Research on this topic has lacked realism in the way the humor is conveyed to participants, and has not examined perceptions of both men and women who use sexist humor. We embedded jokes in printed Facebook profiles to present sexist humor to participants. We manipulated the gender of the individual in the profile (man or woman), and the type of joke presented (anti-men, anti-women, neutral) in a 2 × 3 between-groups design. We found that both men and women rated anti-women jokes as more sexist than neutral humor, and women also rated anti-men jokes as sexist. We also found that men who displayed anti-women humor were perceived less positively than men displaying anti-men humor, or women displaying either type of humor. These findings suggest that there may be different gender norms in place for joke tellers regarding who is an acceptable target of sexist humor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-141
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Facebook
  • Person perception
  • Sexist humor
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • General Psychology


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