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ERIC Number: ED105318
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Sexism Springs Eternal--in the Reader's Digest.
Zimbardo, Philip G.; Meadow, Wendy
This document reports on an empirical investigation of anti-women humor appearing in the Reader's Digest over three decades, revealing the operation of an unconscious sexist ideology. A systematic analysis was made of 1,069 jokes appearing in two featured columns of the Reader's Digest for the two-year periods 1947-48, 1957-58, and 1967-68. Scoring rules guided categorizing of jokes into anti-women, anti-men and non-sex-related groupings. Results of the analysis were: (1) since the 1940's six times as many anti-women jokes appeared as did anti-male jokes; (2) in the period after WWII, more than a quarter of all the humor in these magazine columns was directed against women; (3) the percentage of sexist jokes has declined steadily over three decades; and (4) the portrait of the typical woman has not changed over the past 30 years according to the content of sexist jokes. In rank order of prevalence of traits, the female joke subject is: (1) stupid, incompetent or foolish; (2) domineering over men; (3) exploitive of men for money; (4) jealous and catty; (5) irresponsible with money; (6) gossipy and nagging; and (7) overly-anxious to catch a husband. (Author/PC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association (54th, San Francisco, California, April 25-28, 1974)