Youth Exposure to Stereotypical Gender-Bias in Video Games

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Playing video games has become an increasingly common activity for the youth world-wide; in contrast, this also results in a rise of concerns by the media and researchers about youth-engagement with video-games. This critical essay discusses some of the primary concerns of video-gaming, focusing primarily on youth engagement, from the age-group of 13-18, in relevance to the stereotypical gender-bias that exists within video-games. Many video games promote the passive role of women in our society relative to the dominant sex - men, thus, casting unjust roles and gendered societal expectations of women in our society. This is done by casting female characters in video games in subordinate roles, sexualizing the female body in the production and marketing of video-games in efforts to promote sales, and excessive brutality and violence directed towards females predominantly by males.
Video games have both a positive and negative impact on youth attitudes, behaviours and perceptions, as with other forms of media, and thus, it is important to understand the complications that arise alongside the growing numbers of youth playing video-games. According to Cambridge Dictionary, gender-discrimination is defined as the unequal treatment of a particular sex in contrast to the opposing sex which is based on gender-differences, predominantly, a situation where a female is discriminated by a male. In relevance to video-games, female characters are excessively under-represented and in majority, take only passive roles in relation to men. In a research experiment conducted in September, 2000, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’S) verdict concluded that there were more gender-neutral or unidentified gender variations, such as animals, or aliens, ...

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