Survey Shows Even Teenage Boys Think Women Are Over-Sexualized in Video Games
The ONE group sexist people bank on to back them up.
Dubious game developers and Twitter trolls will now have to look elsewhere for backup when it comes to telling us “SJWs” that there’s nothing wrong with the portrayal of women in video games. A survey found that most teenage boys—despite common wisdom to the contrary—don’t want women to be over-sexualized in their video games.
I’ll let you take a minute to readjust your entire worldview.
Frequently, when people (frequently us) complain that women in video games are heavily subjected to the male gaze to the point where it becomes harmful, a defense that crops up is, “But our audience for this product is young men/teenage boys. We’re just playing to our audience.” Setting aside how silly it is to purposefully target a potentially gender-neutral product specifically at one gender—and how deciding that certain things are “for girls” and “for boys” is a problem all in itself—that’s making a pretty big assumption about what that audience even wants. And it turns out the assumption is certainly making an ass out of someone.
In a survey of 1,400 middle and high school students by Rosalind Wiseman, Charlie Kuhn, and Ashly Burch, of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’?, it turned out that of boys who identified as gamers, 55% said games should have more women as protagonists, and 57% felt women were treated as sex objects too often in games. Teenage boys. So all the grown-ass men on the Internet screaming about their toys being taken away just because we’d like a bit more consideration shown toward women in games might want to take a step back and realize they could get a lesson in maturity from teenagers.
Wiseman shared some more interesting statistics from the survey on Time, writing,
Both boys and girls aren’t more likely to play a game based on the gender of the protagonist
70% of girls said it doesn’t matter and 78% of boys said it doesn’t matter. Interestingly, boys care less about playing as a male character as they age and girls care more about playing as a female one.
She also noted that her results showed girls play a variety of different game genres, whether or not some people want to believe that over half of gamers being women is only because of all our moms playing Farmville—as though that somehow make them lesser gamers anyway. The group behind the survey has stressed that it was only intended to be exploratory and not a completely thorough evaluation, but the findings are pretty encouraging.
Maybe there is hope for the next generation of gamers after all.
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