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Does sexualization in video games cause harm in players? A meta-analytic examination


Ferguson, CJ and Sauer, JD and Drummond, A and Kneer, J and Lowe-Calverley, E, Does sexualization in video games cause harm in players? A meta-analytic examination, Computers in Human Behavior, 135 Article 107341. ISSN 0747-5632 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.chb.2022.107341


Whether video games with sexualized content do or do not relate to mental health and body image problems in players, and/or sexualization and hostility toward women, is an issue of broad public interest. However, evidence from empirical studies has generally been mixed. To examine this issue, we explored the degree to which sexualization in games was related to both well-being/body dissatisfaction and sexism/misogyny among players in two separate meta-analyses. 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. As appears commonly in other realms of media effects, the evidence is weak that sexualized games influence player attitudes and behavior.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:video games, sexism, misogyny, well being, sexualization, mental health
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Cognition
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Sauer, JD (Associate Professor Jim Sauer)
UTAS Author:Lowe-Calverley, E (Dr Emily Lowe-Calverley)
ID Code:150488
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2022-06-17
Last Modified:2022-06-17

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