Effects of the Sexualization of Female Characters in Video Games on Gender Stereotyping, Body Esteem, Self-Objectification, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194117
Title:
Effects of the Sexualization of Female Characters in Video Games on Gender Stereotyping, Body Esteem, Self-Objectification, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy
Author:
Morawitz, Elizabeth
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Content analyses indicate that women and girls are gender-stereotyped and negatively portrayed in video games, yet, to date, no research has examined the effects of exposure to these images on consumers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of sexualized (stereotypical) and non-sexualized (counter-stereotypical) portrayals of female characters in video games on players' self-esteem, gender stereotyping, body esteem, self-objectification, and self-efficacy. Social cognitive theory and presence are utilized to explicate the processes through which individuals are affected by video game play. According to social cognitive theory, the portrayals of women and girls in video games would be expected to influence social perceptions about gender and self-concept in both male and female users. Integrating presence into this theoretical framework aids in explaining the effects of exposure to this uniquely interactive medium. The findings from this study suggest that short-term exposure to a sexualized female video game character predicts lower self-efficacy and negative attitudes toward women in terms of their physical capabilities for female players. Additionally, level of presence experienced by male game players predicted body-related outcomes, such that a higher level of presence was related to greater body satisfaction and lower self-objectification in men. Presence had no significant effect on the relationship between sex, type of character played, and the outcome variables. The results of this study are of consequence not only to media effects researchers but also to parents, legislators, and video game programmers.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Communication
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Communication; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Mastro, Dana E.
Committee Chair:
Mastro, Dana E.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleEffects of the Sexualization of Female Characters in Video Games on Gender Stereotyping, Body Esteem, Self-Objectification, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacyen_US
dc.creatorMorawitz, Elizabethen_US
dc.contributor.authorMorawitz, Elizabethen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractContent analyses indicate that women and girls are gender-stereotyped and negatively portrayed in video games, yet, to date, no research has examined the effects of exposure to these images on consumers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of sexualized (stereotypical) and non-sexualized (counter-stereotypical) portrayals of female characters in video games on players' self-esteem, gender stereotyping, body esteem, self-objectification, and self-efficacy. Social cognitive theory and presence are utilized to explicate the processes through which individuals are affected by video game play. According to social cognitive theory, the portrayals of women and girls in video games would be expected to influence social perceptions about gender and self-concept in both male and female users. Integrating presence into this theoretical framework aids in explaining the effects of exposure to this uniquely interactive medium. The findings from this study suggest that short-term exposure to a sexualized female video game character predicts lower self-efficacy and negative attitudes toward women in terms of their physical capabilities for female players. Additionally, level of presence experienced by male game players predicted body-related outcomes, such that a higher level of presence was related to greater body satisfaction and lower self-objectification in men. Presence had no significant effect on the relationship between sex, type of character played, and the outcome variables. The results of this study are of consequence not only to media effects researchers but also to parents, legislators, and video game programmers.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectCommunicationen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineCommunicationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMastro, Dana E.en_US
dc.contributor.chairMastro, Dana E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKunkel, Daleen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarwood, Jakeen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2321en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659748184en_US
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