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The Science Of Slurs

This post is also available in: German

There’s nothing quite like a sharp semantic shiv that hits a vital. But did you know slurs evolved to serve a social purpose? And that there are sex-based differences in the perception of slurs?

We investigated the influence of the sex of the target and the sex of the sender on the judgment of slurs (verbal derogation). From previous research, we selected and clustered slurs into seven categories and respondents rated their degree of perceived insult in two consecutive questionnaire surveys (N = 281 and N = 224, respectively). Results confirm that slurs are generally judged as being more insulting when directed towards females than towards males.

The fundamental premise: Women are the reproductively more valuable sex, and this biological reality has downstream effects on human psychology. This is why Trump (PBUH) catches so much flak for insulting fat, caustic pig Rosie O’Donnell or slimy gotcha “reporter” Megyn Kelly, yet no one cares when he levels worse insults against the hundreds or even thousands of men who have landed in his target designation cross-hairs.

In comparison, differences in sex of sender were small. When directed towards females, slurs referring to “being loose” were rated as the most insulting.

That’s because it undermines the female prime directive to attract and keep a high value man with promises of fidelity (aka paternity assurance).

For both target sexes, remarks referring to homosexuality and physical unattractiveness were among those rated as the most insulting.

I guarantee you the homo slur was rated more insulting by men.

Least insulting were slurs referring to unethical acts, lack of intelligence and cowardliness.

This is why I usually favor a rhetorical attack on shitlibs that hits them where it hurts: their sexual androgyny and circus freak physiognomy. Although I don’t buy the finding that “stupid” isn’t an effective insult, especially when aimed subversively at the pencilnecks whose only source of pride is their MENSA membership.

A sex of respondent effect was found, suggesting that women rated slurs generally more insulting than men. The pattern of results showed considerable stability across surveys attesting for the reliability of the method for measuring the social evaluation of slurs.

Rank of slur effectiveness, least to most shivvy:

Character
->
Economic status (more effective against men)
->
Social status
->
Smarts
->
Looks (for women, less so for men)
->
Sexual worth (“slut”, “nerd”, “creep”)

The most vicious slurs circumvent the superego and ego, striking at the pith of the id, where the rawest measure of a man is contained: his (or her) worth as a mate.

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