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Sobering stats

Video games cultivate ‘sexist attitudes’ among teenagers, study says

March 20, 2017

Gaming makes teenagers more likely to hold sexist and stereotypical sentiments about women, a new study as found.

The study, conducted by researchers in the U.S. and France, surveyed 13, 520 French teenagers, according to Agence-France Presse. Researchers measured a number of factors, including the amount of video games played per week, amount of television watched per week, religious observance, and sexist attitudes.

Their findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, suggest that teenagers who spend more time playing video games are more likely to display sexist and stereotypical opinions. And this correlation was not limited to male subjects. Laurent Begue, co-author of the study, told the AFP that the correlation may be due to the representation of women in popular video games.

“Content analysis has shown that women are under-represented in popular video games. They have passive roles, they are princesses who need to be saved or secondary, sexualized objects of conquest,” he said.

Stereotyping in video games is not limited to women; men are often portrayed as “more active, armed and muscular,” according to Begue.

The study assessed both boy and girl gamers — 51 to 49 percent of the subject pool, respectively. Results indicated that sexism was higher among males who played video games.

The psychological impact of video games has been a hotly contested issue for some years. Many experts contend that gaming does not lead to increased aggression; in fact, Frontiers in Psychology recently published another study suggesting that violent video games do not affect empathy.

The study on sexism did, in fact, find that video games were not the most influential determinant of whether or not a teenager displays sexist attitudes. “Religious fervor” was a more significant factor, according to the AFP.

Read more at Yahoo News


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