Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain have found that sexist jokes favour the mental mechanisms that justify violence and battering against women in individuals with macho attitudes.
The scientists distributed questionnaires among a group of 109 university male students, aged between 18 and 26 years.
The students were shown two series of jokes: one of them with sexist jokes where women were denigrated, and another one with common jokes, without any kind of sexist content.
The researchers then proposed them several scenes with different cases of battering against women, from minor to serious attacks, to ask them how they would react in those kinds of situation.
They observed that the students who had listened to sexist jokes were much more tolerant with male battering than those who had not, this is, that this kind of humour favours the mental mechanisms tolerant with violent behaviour towards women.
However, the researchers warn that the individuals affected by sexist humour showed a previous tendency to tolerate violence against women, as can be gathered from a survey that weighed up sexist attitudes against women.
Some of the items of the scale used by the scientist to measure men's sexist attitudes were: "Deep down, feminist women intend women to be more powerful than men", "Most of the women do not fully appreciate what men do for them" or "There are many women who make sexual insinuations to men and later they reject their advances just to make fun of them."
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