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The Harm of Seemingly Harmless Sexist Humor

I had posted this as a comment to a related post, but I think not many people saw it, so I’m re-posting it to cast a wider net, and also because there have been some additional developments.
I need help with the following problem: How does one explain the harmfulness of seemingly harmless sexist humor?
Example: my (otherwise very liberal, progressive) boyfriend had a joke on his facebook profile. The joke went something like this: “A study found that alcohol consumption triggers the release of an estrogen-like hormone. So basically, when a guy drinks, he suddenly finds that he can’t control his emotions, he babbles incoherently, and he can’t drive.”

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