Video games promote sexism

Every year, there always seems to be a new, more popular video game — Fortnite, Call of Duty, League of Legends. The list only continues. As these games develop, controversy regarding the effects of them arise, but one effect outweighs the rest: their promotion of sexism, a disastrous concept which will be embedded in consumers.

The audience for these games tend to be adolescent males, so companies try to appeal to them. The result? Heavily sexualized women who are portrayed as helpless and provocative, an unrealistic expectation that creates unnecessary societal unrest. Satisfying these hormonal teenagers and young adults is damaging for both ends of the spectrum.

A study from Stanford University concluded that because of female depiction in these games, “women may be at risk for experiencing self-objectification and developing greater rape myth acceptance.” Likewise, women were found to be more self conscious of their own bodies after viewing video games with sexualized avatars.

Men are also negatively impacted. Another study, as quoted as evidence in the Stanford study, found that men who play video games that contain objectified female characters had a greater probability of sexually harassing women than men who did not play those games.

Even seemingly harmless games can be inherently sexist. For example, Princess Peach in the famed “Mario” series appears as nothing other than a secondary character, the “damsel in distress” with blonder hair, blue eyes, and a pink dress. Furthermore, in 13 out of 15 games, the objective of the game is to save her.

The effect on both sides is prominent and will translate into younger generations. This effect does not correlate core values, which could end up teaching the wrong idea to the generations of tomorrow, with the logic of that if a video game can get away with it, why can’t we? Video games need to adhere to their entertainment purposes, not try to downgrade women to nothing more than unattainable bodily standards, and convince men that it is okay to perceive them as that

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