Effects of exposure to sex-stereotyped video game characters on tolerance of sexual harassment (2008)

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Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Volume 44, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 1402–1408

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2008.06.002

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Stereotypes;
  • Media;
  • Aggression;
  • Sexism;
  • Power;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Rape myths;
  • Violence against women