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Beauty in the Background: A Content Analysis of Females in Interactive Digital Games

Ashley D. Cox, Cassie A. Eno and Rosanna E. Guadagno
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Ashley D. Cox: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
Cassie A. Eno: Center for Academic Excellence, Bellevue University, Bellevue, NE, USA
Rosanna E. Guadagno: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2012, vol. 2, issue 2, 49-62

Abstract: This content analysis examined the representation of females in top selling console video games. Based on prior content analyses, the study hypothesized that female characters would be more likely to appear in supporting roles and would be represented as suggestively dressed with sexualized portions of their bodies exposed. It was predicted that female characters would be less likely to engage in violence relative to male characters. The results of the analysis of 538 characters from 48 interactive video game systems supported these predictions and suggest that video games portray stereotypic depictions of women consistent with traditional gender roles. The implications of these findings are presented in the context of social learning theory. Furthermore, the unique features of video game play that may heighten their socializing impact are discussed.

Date: 2012
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