UC Santa Barbara
Sexual Priming, Gender Stereotyping, and Likelihood to Sexually Harass: Examining the Cognitive Effects of Playing a Sexually-Explicit Video Game
- Author(s): Yao, Mike Z.
- Mahood, Chad
- Linz, Daniel
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-009-9695-4
The present study examines the short-term cognitive effects of playing a sexually explicit video game with female “objectification” content on male players. Seventy-four male students from a university in California, U.S. participated in a laboratory experiment. They were randomly assigned to play either a sexually-explicit game or one of two control games. Participants’ cognitive accessibility to sexual and sexually objectifying thoughts was measured in a lexical decision task. A likelihood-to-sexually-harass scale was also administered. Results show that playing a video game with the theme of female “objectification” may prime thoughts related to sex, encourage men to view women as sex objects, and lead to self-reported tendencies to behave inappropriately towards women in social situations.