J Interpers Violence. 2016 Jun;31(10):1912-31. doi: 10.1177/0886260515570747.
Although previous research has investigated relationships between media consumption, sexism, and rape myth acceptance (RMA), limited research has investigated video games despite their emergence as one of the most popular forms of media entertainment globally. Given that video games typically feature even less diverse and more objectified representations of women than traditional mainstream media, we predicted that there would be relationships between video game consumption and negative beliefs and attitudes about women. In this study, we conducted a survey (N = 351) of male and female adults and used structural equation modeling to analyze relationships among video game consumption, trait interpersonal aggression, ambivalent sexism, and first-order (percentage of false rape accusations) and second-order cultivation effects (RMA). We found support for the hypothesized cultivation model, indicating a relationship between video game consumption and RMA via interpersonal aggression and hostile sexism. Although these findings cannot be interpreted causally, we discuss the implications of these associations and future directions for research.
KEYWORDS: ambivalent sexism; cultivation; interpersonal aggression; rape myth acceptance; video games