The Stereotypes Of Men & Women

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The Stereotypes Of Men & Women And The Roles In Video Games

Table of Contents

Chapter I3

1. Introduction4

1.2 Violence towards women in gaming7

Chapter II8

2. A theoretical model of media sexism effects11

3. Media effects studies pertaining to rape and sexual harassment14

4. Sexual harassment15

5. The current investigation16

Chapter III19

6. Methods19

6.1 Participants19

6.2 Procedure20

7. Experimental manipulation20

8. Materials22

8.1 Sexual harassment judgments22

Chapter IV24

9. Results24

9.1 Full factorial models for sexual harassment judgments and rape-supportive attitudes24

10. Discussion28

10.1 Media exposure interaction with sex on sexual harassment judgments28

10.2 Long-term versus short-term exposure29

10.3 The experimental and control groups30


The Stereotypes Of Men & Women And The Roles In Video Games


The violent video game literature has previously not extended to the domain of violence against women. The current investigation tested the effects of exposure to sex-typed video game characters versus images of professional men and women on judgments and attitudes supporting aggression against women. Results showed experimental effects of short-term exposure to stereotypical media content on sexual harassment judgments but not on rape myth acceptance. A significant interaction indicated that men exposed to stereotypical content made judgments that were more tolerant of a real-life instance of sexual harassment compared to controls. Long-term exposure to video game violence was correlated with greater tolerance of sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance. This data contributes to our understanding of mass media's role in socialization that supports violence against women.

Chapter I

1. Introduction

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, over the next 5 years the video game industry will be the fastest growing of any entertainment category, and will earn a projected $55 billion internationally by 2008 (Vargas, 2007). Most top-selling games and most of kids' favorite games are violent ([Anderson and Bushman, 2001], [Dill et al., 2005] and [Funk et al., 2000]). A growing body of research demonstrates a causal connection between exposure to video game violence and aggressive behavior, thoughts and feelings ([Anderson and Bushman, 2001], [Anderson and Dill, 2000], [Anderson et al., 2007] and [Bartholow et al., 2005]; see Anderson et al., 2003 for a review). To date, effects research on video game violence has not extended to the domain of violence against women. This is a clear gap in the literature, especially given the growing concern about sexist gender portrayals in video games ([Brenick et al., 2007], [Burgess et al., 2007], [Dill and Thill, 2007], [Scharrer, 2004] and [Walsh et al., 2002]). The current investigation is designed to bridge that gap by providing data showing a causal relationship between sexist gender portrayals in video games and two measures linked to violence against women: sexual harassment judgments and rape-supportive attitudes.

Video games are the fastest growing media in the United States, with sales reaching $10 billion in 2004 (NPD Group 2005; Annual U.S. video game sales). An estimated 70% of America's youth has at least one game console in their home (Roberts et al. 1999). Additionally, nearly 80% of children regularly play video or computer games; children between the ages of 2 and 17 play an average of 7 h a week (Gentle ...
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