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Survey: Vast majority of Democratic college students say offensive jokes can constitute hate speech

Republican students also are way more likely than Democratic students to say sensitive topics are acceptable in jokes

Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Political correctness, woke culture, safe spaces, and trigger warnings on college campuses have made these once-favored destinations of many comedians little more than free speech and free expression kill zones favored by the left.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that a vast majority of Democratic college students — a whopping 76% — said that offensive jokes can constitute hate speech, according to the results of a recent College Pulse survey of 2,000 undergraduates.

What are the details?

Among the survey's findings:

  • Almost two-thirds of students (64%) believe comedians can be successful without making offensive jokes, but more than one-third (36%) say political correctness is detrimental to comedy.
  • Male students are much more likely than female students to say political correctness hurts comedy (54% versus 24%), and Republican students are far more likely than Democratic students to agree (59% versus 20%).
  • A majority of students say offensive jokes can promote stereotypes (69%) and constitute hate speech (60%) — but there's a political party caveat: 76% of Democrats believe jokes can constitute hate speech while only 36% of Republicans agree.
  • While a majority of students (52%) say sexual assault isn't appropriate for comedy, female students are twice as likely as male students to concur (66% versus 31%).
  • In addition, female students are twice as likely to say comedians shouldn't joke about abortion (30% versus 15%) or fatal tragedies (44% versus 23%). And only 17% of female students say no topics are off the table while more than half of male students (52%) say so.
  • Republican students also are way more likely than Democratic students to say sensitive topics are acceptable to joke about (50% versus 19%). While nearly a third of Republican students (32%) say comedians should not joke about sexual assault, about two-thirds (66%) of Democratic students agree.

More from the results:

Students overall see a distinction between someone joking about their own identity versus making fun of groups they do not belong to. Only 3% of students say it is not OK for a comedian to joke about their own race, while 26% say it is not OK for comedians to joke about other races. Similarly, 4% of students say a comedian shouldn't joke about their own sexual orientation, compared to 21% who say they shouldn't joke about other sexual orientations.

On a more personal level, a majority of students have experienced jokes targeting some aspect of their identity. Almost two-thirds (64%) of students report that their gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is often the punchline to a joke. Race is a major factor, as black students are far more likely than white students to say some aspect of their identity is often a punchline (86% vs. 56%).

(H/T: The College Fix)

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