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Exploring gender differences in deprecatory humor use: Discriminatory utterances aimed at women. Lindsey Hummel & Sara Shake Hanover College April 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring gender differences in deprecatory humor use: Discriminatory utterances aimed at women. Lindsey Hummel & Sara Shake Hanover College April 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring gender differences in deprecatory humor use: Discriminatory utterances aimed at women. Lindsey Hummel & Sara Shake Hanover College April 2007

2 Language is Power! Sexist language  Pansy!  He’s a manwhore!  You throw like a girl! Deprecating remarks  I’m so stupid!  Sucks to be you, loser!  That Bob Johnson sure is a jerk!

3 Discourse Analysis (Gill, 1993) Language use reflects each person’s reality. All discourse is social action that can be used to convey power, place blame, etc.

4 Humor Theory Disparaging humor:  Creates a status hierarchy between speaker and subject  Reinforces listeners stereotypes  Targets disadvantaged or disenfranchised people

5 Feminist Theory Female’s feelings of inferiority are instilled and upheld by the masculine bias in society  Horney (1967) Men and women develop differently within the same society  Men are given a position of power and authority  Women are given a position of inferiority and lack of authority  Kaschak (1992)

6 Hypotheses We hypothesize there may be gender differences in speakers’ use of deprecating humor. We hypothesize that more deprecating humor will target women rather than men.

7 Data Sets Roseanne Season 1 DVD Series aired in syndication Re-runs still airing Everybody Loves Raymond Season 1 DVD Series aired in syndication Re-runs still airing

8 Data 45 episodes viewed  23 Roseanne 1 Roseanne episode could not be coded  22 Everybody Loves Raymond 10,032 total utterances  Roseanne: 5,340 utterances  Everybody Loves Raymond: 4,692 utterances

9 Deprecating (check if yes) Self- deprecating (check if yes) Content Subject of Comment (M/F/G/N) Gender of Speaker (M/F) TimeUtt # Episode Title: ____________________________________ Episode #___ Roseanne ELR

10 Results: Inter-rater Reliability Practiced coding on several episodes from other seasons Overlapped 8 episodes  First 4 (2 Roseanne, 2 Everybody Loves Raymond)  Last 4 (2 Roseanne, 2 Everybody Loves Raymond) Attained 100% agreement  Total number of utterances, gender of speaker, deprecating and self-deprecating utterances Gender of Target  Κ =.97

11 Episode Title: ___Life & Stuff________________________ Episode #_1__ Roseanne ELR Utt. #Time Gender of speaker M/F Subject of comment M/F/G/N Deprecating (check if yes) Self deprecating (check if yes) Content (if deprecating) 1 FF 2 M F 3FG 4M F 56:02 FF X X Old slut

12 Results : Hypotheses Hypothesis 1: Supported  We hypothesize there may be gender differences in speakers’ use of deprecating humor. Hypothesis 2: Not supported  We hypothesize that more deprecating humor will target women rather than men.

13 Χ² = 4.355, p <.05 Gender of Speaker Percentage of deprecating utterances Gender differences in deprecating humor use

14 Summary of Results There is a significant gender difference in speakers’ use of deprecating language Other findings:  The deprecating language targets women more than men.  Women are making twice as many disparaging remarks towards women than men are making towards men.

15 Why Does This Study Matter? Fills the gap in the literature about gender differences of both speaker and target in deprecating language use Deprecating humor use reinforces a pre- existing tolerance and belief in gender inequality as the social norm Ford & Ferguson, 2004


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