Troy Deskins

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Rusty McIntyre

Second Advisor

Stephen D. Jefferson


Research on video game usage has primarily focused on its violent content and how it predicts aggression in participants. Typically, most of these studies show that video games (VGs) cause individuals to become more aggressive and so VGs are theorized as a powerful medium for influencing behavior and cognition. Stereotypic presentations within media also influences behavior and cognition. Given that many VGs make use of stereotypes, particularly negative stereotypes related to gender, there is a need to investigate how VGs might reinforce and normalize the mistreatment of women in society. It was hypothesized that prior experience of playing violent video games (e.g., in person or online game play/messaging) might cause players of these games to accept the mistreatment of women. Specifically, participants were asked to rate how offensive they found screen shots of a series of sexist chat messages sent to female gamers to be. The analyses revealed that those who play violent video games, and scored high on benevolent sexism rated the sexist stimuli messages more amusing than others. In this study it was shown that high hostile sexists believed these messages to be amusing. It was also found that benevolent sexists also found the messages less amusing, a result consistent with prior research. Implications and future directions are also discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons