A new and seemingly inevitable study has confirmed that men who enjoy sexist and homophobic humor are insecure about their own masculinity. The study, published in the academic journal Sex Roles, found that when men with “precarious manhood beliefs” feel threatened, they embrace jokes that help them reaffirm typical gender norms, propping up their flimsy manhood. The researchers behind the study were unable to confirm whether or not these men were fooling anyone, but we doubt it.
Researchers at Western Carolina University conducted two experiments involving 387 heterosexual men. The participants filled out online questionnaires about their personalities, social attitudes, and level of prejudice towards gay men and women. They were subsequently asked about what sorts of jokes they found funny and if they felt their sense of humor provided a window into their core beliefs and personality. These responses were provoked within the context of questions demanding introspection. The results were telling.
“Men higher in precarious manhood beliefs expressed amusement with sexist and anti-gay humor in response to a masculinity threat because they believe it reaffirms an accurate, more masculine impression of them,” wrote Emma O’Connor, the study’s lead author. “It appears that by showing amusement with sexist and anti-gay humor, such men can distance themselves from the traits they want to disconfirm.”
The impetus for the research wasn’t just to point out the ironically soft sources of dickish humor, but to better understand how incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace start. Jokes are thought of as a subtle way for men reclaim authority while employing a fairly unsubtle bit of misdirection — “Hey, it’s a joke!”
Given that the study was released into the same political environment that gave us the term “cucks,” backlash feels inevitable. But those who would dismiss this research as an example of what happens when politically correct snowflakes get lab coats have to confront this hard truth: The data don’t lie. Want to make a joke out of the study? Go ahead. The authors are getting the last laugh.