Ford, T. E. (2000). Effects of sexist humor on tolerance of sexist events. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26 (9), 1094-1107.

Abstract:  The results of 3 experiments supported the hypothesis that exposure to sexist humor increases tolerance of sex discrimination among people high in hostile sexism. Ss were 260 students. The results of Experiment 1 revealed that for participants high in hostile sexism, exposure to sexist jokes led to greater tolerance of a sexist event in comparison to exposure to neutral jokes or nonhumorous sexist communications. The results of Experiments 2 and 3 suggest that the activation of a noncritical mind set presumed to be a natural byproduct of humorous communication is critical for sexist humor to increase tolerance of sex discrimination. When sexist jokes were interpreted in a serious, critical manner, either as a result of explicit instructions (Experiment 2) or contextual cues such as the group membership of the joke teller (Experiment 3), the effects of sexist humor were nullified among participants high in hostile sexism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)