, Volume 57, Issue 5-6, pp 419-433
Date: 30 Jun 2007

Sex, Lies, and Video Games: The Portrayal of Male and Female Characters on Video Game Covers

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Abstract

Two hundred twenty-five console video game covers obtained from online retail sites were examined for portrayals of men and women. We hypothesized that males would be portrayed more often, but that females would be portrayed in a more hyper-sexualized manner. Male characters were almost four times more frequently portrayed than female characters and were given significantly more game relevant action. However, in spite of their less frequent appearance, female characters were more likely to be portrayed with exaggerated, and often objectified, sexiness. Further, violence and sexiness was paired more frequently for female characters than violence and muscular physiques for the male characters. The potential influence these negative portrayals could have on gamers is discussed.