This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. We spend a great deal of time watching television nowadays. We get so fully involved in what we watch that we cry when characters cry, we feel intense joy when great things happen to our characters, and we feel anger when these characters get hurt. We also laugh. We laugh at their misfortunes and we laugh at their successes and joys.…

We also laugh at comments that, if made in serious context, would be considered bigoted. Sitcoms in particular seem to derive most of their humour from disparaging stereotypes. We look upon these sitcoms and laugh along, sometimes to the point of hilarity; however, do we understand the larger societal implications of our laughter?

Jenn Clark graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University with a BA in psychology in 2013. Her primary research interests include the distinct differences between sexual orientation and gender, homophobic humour and its implications, and patriarchal sex practices. Other research interests include gender, sexual orientation, and stereotyping. In her spare time, Jenn is working hard to provide quantitative evidence toward the female seduction myth.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)