A survey about attitudes toward comedy show that a large number of “educated” young people cannot distinguish between ideas and actions, words and deeds.
The survey of 2,000 undergraduates by College Pulse, done in February but released on March 30, finds a distorted view of comedy particularly among those who identify as Democrats or share liberal values.
Some 76 percent of Democratic students “believe offensive jokes can constitute hate speech,” in contrast to 36 percent of Republican students who subscribe to that view. Overall, six in 10 students make the connection between humor and morally incorrect behavior.
Two-thirds of students “believe comedians can be successful without making offensive jokes,” as if “offensiveness” is a quantifiable, subjective attribute. Just a little over a third “say political correctness is detrimental to comedy.”
The division appears to extend beyond political affiliation: While most male students said political correctness damages comedy, only one female in five agreed. It’s just as striking when students are asked if it’s “not OK to joke about” sexual assault – a statement supported by two-thirds of women and one-third of men.
The most stark gender divide is on whether any topics are completely forbidden in comedy. More than half of male students said no topic should be excluded, and just one female in six agreed.