Effects of Immersive, Sexually Objectifying, and Violent Video Games on Hostile Sexism in Males Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018, 2018 Eastern Communication Association. Research suggests that media images depicting aggression against sexually objectified women may promote hostile sexism in men. We empirically tested if such effects might occur when men commit simulated acts of aggression against sexualized female opponents in video games, and if such effects might be heightened by psychological immersion (i.e,. the sensation of presence while gaming). In two studies, male participants played a first-person-shooter game, with the sex and sexualization of opponents experimentally manipulated. Results indicated that game play increased hostile sexism, to the extent that players reported feeling present in the virtual environment and provided that opponents were depicted as sexualized females, not males or nonsexualized females. No effects on benevolent sexism were observed. These results suggest that the increasingly immersive nature of modern video games might amplify their influence on players, including effects that promote hostility and aggression towards women.

published proceedings

  • Communication Research Reports

altmetric score

  • 17.8

author list (cited authors)

  • LaCroix, J. M., Burrows, C. N., & Blanton, H.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • LaCroix, Jessica M||Burrows, Christopher N||Blanton, Hart

publication date

  • January 2018