In keeping with the discussion about whether or not ridicule or insults hinder the process of educating people:
(This is presented as a rebuttal to accusations, not as an argument to engage in more ridicule or insult. Yes, it's one study, but it's better than the anecdotal opinions we've seen bandied about...)
Abstract of (doi:10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.2062):
"Tested the proposition that ridicule is an effective educational corrective by including 1 of 3 motivators (ridicule, insult, gentle reminder) or 1 of 3 controls in a handout of course reading assignments. Sex of Ss was included as an independent factor; 180 undergraduates participated. Scores on an unannounced test on the assigned readings, administered during the next class, provided a measure of information acquisition. Although the gentle reminder and insult increased test scores somewhat, relative to the controls, only ridicule produced a significant increase on information acquisition. Sex differences were found for the insult vs ridicule conditions: Males scored higher than females when insulted; females scored higher than males when ridiculed."