Study: Men who are terrible at video games more likely to harass women

Study: Men who are terrible at video games more likely to harass women

If you suck at video games, you also tend to be a nastier individual online -- and here's the surprising reasons why.

Women have often been the subject of harassment online, and as it turns out, it’s often by guys who just plain suck at video games.

Surveys have indicated that women between the ages of 18 and 29 experience severe forms of online harassment, including death threats and what is known as “doxxing,” when an individuals real address is posted online in an effort to intimidate, according to a CBC report.

But no one had really looked into who was doing the harassing — until now. A new study published in the journal PLOS One has examined the intentions of men who are often hostile to women on the Internet.

The study was led by scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia and at Miami University, who watched how men treated women during 163 sessions of Halo 3, a popular first-person shooter.

They found that women were subjected to abuse 10 times more often than men in online chatrooms, and three times more often in online games.

But rather than misogyny driving the abuse, the researchers believe that there is a much simpler cause: the men who hurl the abuse often feel that they are lower down on the totem pole and need to lash out in a sort of inferiority complex. Basically, the abuse came from the men who just sucked at playing the game.

In fact, the more poorly the players were at the game, the worse the comments got about the female player. These men feel that they have a low status, and their instinct is to become aggressive to maintain that dominant social status and become more hostile towards women, hoping to disregard the female’s performance.

The study also found that players who played well tended to be much more positive to female players.

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