Sexualization in Games Doesn’t Lead to Any “Negative Outcomes”, Study Finds

Over the years, Video Games have grown into a massive entertainment medium across the globe and the industry is showing no signs of slowing down. We come across different video games characters both male and female in different games.

Players tend to associate them with these characters as sometimes, we do in movies. However, since majority of gamers are males, game developers tend to over-sexualize female characters in games. Ethically and Morally, this could a topic of debate however, as far as individual harms and effects are concerned, it might not be as harmful as some might think.

According to a recent Scientific Study, we cannot associate well-being/body dissatisfaction and sexism/misogyny among players with sexualization of female characters in Video games:

Results revealed that sexualization in games was neither related to well-being/body dissatisfaction (r = 0.082, k = 10, n = 2,010, p = .066) nor sexism/misogyny (r = 0.040, k = 15, n = 15,938, p = .070). Better designed studies, and those that showed less evidence for researcher expectancy effects (for sexism/misogyny outcomes), tended to find less evidence for effects.

So in general, those over-sexualized female characters aren’t imparting any negative behaviors in gamers. That, obviously doesn’t mean that one should support it. Portrayal of female gender in such ways is naturally hard to digest on moral grounds and there has been many discussions, objections and arguments about this topic in our industry. Despite all the criticism, sexualization is still strong in the industry.

However, there have been some good signs as well recently with developers now being confident about making their lead characters in games, female. Aloy from Horizon series is a great example of how we can portray our female characters in games. She is quite a popular character and Horizon games have done great so far.

Contributor at SegmentNext.