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Videogame Character

  • Date Submitted: 03/31/2010 10:19 PM
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Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 44 (2008) 1402–1408

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jesp


Effects of exposure to sex-stereotyped video game characters on tolerance of sexual harassment q
Karen E. Dill *, Brian P. Brown, Michael A. Collins
Lenior-Rhyne College, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, P.O. Box 7335, Hickory, NC 28601, USA

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a b s t r a c t
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. Ó 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 24 August 2007 Revised 16 May 2008 Available online 18 June 2008 Keywords: Stereotypes Media Aggression Sexism Power Sexual harassment Rape myths Violence against women

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 & Bushman, 2001; Dill, Gentile, Richter, &...


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