Report finds that sexist humor breeds social inequalities

The first report of France's High Council for Equality between Women and Men (HCE) assesses that sexism is still alive and well, and that even its more innocent manifestations can lead to severe consequences.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Report finds that sexist humor breeds social inequalities - NewsMavens
Women in a meeting. Pexels.

Why this story matters:

The report defines sexism as an ideology based on the belief that women are inferior to men. Its findings show that women bear heavy social, psychological and physical costs in circumstances where this ideology is widespread.

Out of the women surveyed for the research, four out of ten reported having been humiliated because of their gender. One out of twenty women had received sexist insults in 2017, and only 3% of those who had been insulted had reported the incident, even though such behavior is punishable by fine under French law.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the report was the strong link between humor and sexism. Over 50% of the sketches sampled contained sexist humor. Roughly one third (31%) of French men admitted to being amused by sexist remarks, compared to 15% of women.

Recommended measures

  • The report suggest that, in order to tackle sexism, the phenomenon needs to better tracked and quantified.
  • The authors recommend implementing a national day against sexism, as well as several high-profile information campaigns.
  • Punishment for perpetrators needs to become more severe in order to eradicate harmful behaviors.
  • HCE President Danielle Bousquet concludes that "sexism is not unavoidable and is far from being natural. It is a noxious ideology that needs to be fought with vigor."
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