This supports another study published last September. Emily Matthew surveyed a total of 874 people (40.7% women, 57.1% men) and found that women were four times as likely as men to be harassed while gaming online. 67.5% of women admitted to hiding their gender so as to avoid harassment, a tactic Kuznekoff’s and Rose’s study shows as effective.
Coupled with the correlation between highly skilled female players and the positive feedback they experience, this suggests to me that the minority of women who manage to survive the environment long enough to get good at the game emphasises a plausible perception bias among communities favouring the chosen few. Those women who harbour contentions with the scene move to silence while those who remain vocal assert harassment to not be a problem in their experience.
While this is not surprising to those familiar with the subject, these studies should help to dispel the myth that everyone receives abuse online equally. It’s hard to imagine exactly how these results can be written off as anything but demonstrations of sexism but some people will always wrangle out a way. In the meantime, the best we can do is reassert how this horrible behaviour is not acceptable and continue to show people when they’ve gone astray. Which does actually work.
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