The following study should surprise no one ever. According to research results, men who are the most likely to harass women online, have their own problems.
Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, published a study last week which focused on how men treated women during 163 plays of the video game Halo 3.
The Washington Post reports:
As they watched the games play out and tracked the comments that players made to each other, the researchers observed that — no matter their skill level, or how the game went — men tended to be pretty cordial to each other. Male players who were good at the game also tended to pay compliments to other male and female players.
Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.
A chart from the Halo study that shows how nice male gamers were to other males (dotted line) and females (solid line) during gameplay. Men always treat each other about the same. But the better a player gets, the more likely he is to be nice to ladies. (Kasumovic et al)
In today’s online environment, alas, this is not an idle observation. According to a recent Pew report, 40 percent of Internet users have personally experienced harassment. While both genders are frequent victims of this abuse, women tend to get the worst of it: They are “particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking,” Pew said.
To be clear, men are harassed online, too, but women are particularly targeted.
In each of these environments, Kasumovic suggests, a recent influx of female participants has disrupted a pre-existing social hierarchy. That’s okay for the guys at the top — but for the guys at the bottom, who stand to lose more status, that’s very threatening. (It’s also in keeping with the evolutionary framework on anti-lady hostility, which suggests sexism is a kind of Neanderthal defense mechanism for low-status, non-dominant men trying to maintain a shaky grip on their particular cave’s supply of women.)
“As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” Kasumovic writes, “the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.”
I dedicate this post to my trolls, who during the last 24 hours have called me a cunt, a bitch, a whore, a ‘cum dumpster,’ a druggie (I’ve been drug free for 14 or 15 years now), made comments about my vagina, sent images of female hygiene products and mocked my husband’s death.
You’re all losers. Literally.
And if vicious trolls think no one notices what they’re doing, they’re mistaken. I’ve received so many comments over the last 24 hours like this one.
To the guy who threatened to d0x me yesterday and the one last week, that’s all been done before. You’re too late, losers.
To women who are harassed online, know that you’ve already won when the abusive comments pour in.. You’re better than they are. Refer them to this study. You’re living in their minds rent free and there are no neighbors because their minds are vacant.
It’s not about us (women), it’s about their issues. They have a problem. Abusive trolls can’t even play a game without hurling insults about women. On top of that, they lost the freaking game in the study.
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