Humour Against Binge Drinking During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cartoon-Based Anti-Alcohol Health Campaign Targeting Women-Who-Have-Sex-With-Women

Hedy Greijdanus*, Maaike van der Voorn

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This study focuses on the role of humour in health and well-being of women-who-have-sex-with-women (WSW) during COVID-19. This group has been shown to be vulnerable to alcohol abuse, especially as self-medication coping with social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the potential usefulness of WSW-inclusive (i.e., depicting a female-female romantic couple) versus hetero-normative (i.e., depicting a male-female romantic couple) humorous cartoons in an anti-alcohol health campaign against excessive drinking among WSW. One-hundred-and-twenty-seven self-categorized WSW of diverse genders (woman, non-binary) and sexual orientations (e.g., lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, heterosexual) participated in a 2 × 2 factorial between-participants design. Data were collected during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Netherlands. Humorous cartoons explicitly referring to lockdown measures systematically varied the humour subject (punchline about excessive drinking versus staying sober) and the couple (male-female, female-female) that were depicted. Although the (very brief) health message did not influence binge drinking determinants, the humorous health campaign depicting a female-female couple was perceived as more inclusive and evoked more amusement and less anger than when the cartoons depicted a male-female couple. High WSW identifiers were less amused about the health campaign text (but not the cartoons), less likely to share campaign materials offline (but not online), and had more positive binge drinking attitudes but lower binge drinking intentions than low identifiers. Implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Positive Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14-Jul-2022

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