Do sexist, violent video games reduce empathy for female victims of violence?

A recent study found that young male gamers who identified most strongly with the lead characters in sexist, violent video games had less empathy than other gamers toward female victims of violence.


Male gamers who strongly identified with their character in violent-sexist games were found to have less empathy than other gamers.


The participants in the study, published in PLOS One, were shown a picture of an adolescent girl who had been physically beaten by an adolescent boy, and their emotional responses to the image were measured.


“Most people would look at these images and say the girl pictured has to be terrified,” states co-author Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at the Ohio State University in Columbus.


by James McIntosh