Even though it may not come as a surprise a study has proved that bluntly speaking men who harass women over the internet are losers. Researchers Jeffrey Kuznekoff and Michael Kasumovic from Miami University and the University of New South Wales have analyzed men’s behavior when playing video games and observed that those who harass women are not only poor players, but they also have problems in real life. The paper was published in the journal PLOS One.
For the study the research team examined 102 games of the first shooter game Halo 3. The game had a real-time voice channel. The players were assigned to random teams with other anonymous players which they do not know and they could communicate to one another. The gamers did not know that they were being monitored. The purpose was to analyze how the players reacted to female or male-voiced teammates.
The study involved 147 teammates. The researchers tracked the comments which the gamers made to each other. They noted that irrespective of how skilled they were men were quite friendly to each other. Those who were more skilled also complimented both male and female players.
Unlike the skilled players, those who were not as good were reported to make rude comments to female players. The less skilled a male player was the more hostile he was against women. They said things like: “Shut up, you whore.”, “It’s the b*tch stealing my kills” and “Should’ve made me a sandwich, b*tch.”
The researchers speculate that this trend is the result of evolutionary psychology. High-achieving females threaten the positions of low-achieving males in the social hierarchy. Thus they feel less wanted as mates and they become aggressive. Jeff Kuznekoff from Miami University remarked:
“The take-home seems to be that, just like bullies, the men most likely to have their position in a hierarchy usurped by a woman turned out to be meaner.”
According to the scientists a possible solution to this problem would be to make men understand that “losing to a girl” is not socially debilitating. The findings of the research are particularly worrying taking into account the fact that the players did not know they were being followed and thus this experiment reflects their normal behavior in everyday situations.
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