Sex Roles

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 147–157

Virtual Virgins and Vamps: The Effects of Exposure to Female Characters’ Sexualized Appearance and Gaze in an Immersive Virtual Environment

Authors

    • Department of CommunicationStanford University
  • Jeremy N. Bailenson
    • Department of CommunicationStanford University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-009-9599-3

Cite this article as:
Fox, J. & Bailenson, J.N. Sex Roles (2009) 61: 147. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9599-3

Abstract

This experiment exposed a sample of U.S. undergraduates (43 men, 40 women) to suggestively or conservatively clad virtual females who exhibited either responsive, high eye gaze or nonresponsive, low gaze in an immersive virtual environment. Outside the virtual world, men and women who encountered a highly stereotypical character—a suggestively clad, high gaze agent (“vamp”) or conservatively clad, low gaze character (“virgin”)—demonstrated more sexism and greater rape myth acceptance than participants who saw a suggestively clad nonresponsive or conservatively clad, responsive character. Results suggest that gender-stereotypical virtual females enhance negative attitudes toward women, whereas those that violate expectations and break stereotypes do not.

Keywords

Sex role stereotypes Media effects Gender schema Virtual reality Video games

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009