Personally i think that there is still an attitude in this country that the demographic for games is adolescent boys, i know i enjoy a good romp with comic looking character as it suspends me from the real world and still sets it's self apart, the real irony there is the industry as a hole is striving to make them more realistic, and yet still keep this balance, which is in my opinion the only real thing Nintendo has always done right with all of it's characters, slightly improving the look of its games while making games that are fun that clearly separate the bounds of the real world and the virtual one, every where else though those lines are blurring, and this is where the debate really stems from, people are worried that that fine line is braking and that all these games that look as good as an animated feature, or a movie in their own right. realistically i see the sex i games debate to be the sex in media debate, and if the general public still believes that the market is for adolescent boys (as it had been not 10 years ago) than all the studies in the world (recent study showing gamins target demographic is 30 year olds, and women) won't make a difference in the public mind.
so why do publishers, whom should know better who their target market is, continue to publish for a demographic that is not their primary audience any more?
simple, we still buy it
regardless of a gamers sex, age, or level of experience, we buy it, i recently played 2 games that i The only non-sexist Heroine left?didn't feel objectified women, those being Mirrors Edge, and Metroid Prime Trilogy. sad to say they aren't doing to well in sales, or did to well in sales in Mirror's Edge's case, especially in comparison to the testosterone fest that is Gears of War 2, and the up coming Modern Warfare 2 (which is poised to break every record out there in sales) just to make a point. what concerns me is that with Team Ninja (renown for making games that do nothing but objectify women) making the next Metroid, are we going to loose one of gaming's few non objectified women, then again i think that point is moot after Zero Suit Samus appeared and i can recall everyone's fervor (at least on the internet) for that. but i digress, the only games that seem to break the sexist/racist/"mature" trends are the games aimed at everyone to enjoy the Mario Kart's and Wii Sport's of the world which are constantly in the top 5 in sales despite being out for years already.
point being that i think things are starting to turn around as more people get into gaming, as the market grows and demand continues to spike, the market will demand less sexist games and more mature content in the context that it is intend to stimulate an adults mind not amplify it with all the sex drugs and gore that it can. so far the Video game industry has progressed as the movie industry did from just bathing beauty movies, to King King, Citizen Kane, and Gone with the Wind.
it is only a matter of time so keep your voices heard and eventually they will respond!