A new study has come to light today, and it totally destroys Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan “Jihad” McIntosh’s house of lies. For years they’ve claimed that exposure to games with scantily clad or promiscuous female characters causes real-life sexism against women. Anita is on the record with this in a script that McIntosh either wrote or collaborated on. Leaving aside the fact that this sounds like two prudish assholes trying to enforce their sex-negative vision onto the masses, it was always suspect to me. Most people are capable of separating fantasy and reality. This research seems to go a long way towards proving just that. 

Here’s some excerpts from the study itself, starting with a section from the abstract:

Enlisting a 3 year longitudinal design, the present study assessed the relationship between video game use and sexist attitudes, using data from a representative sample of German players aged 14 and older (N = 824). Controlling for age and education, it was found that sexist attitudes— measured with a brief scale assessing beliefs about gender roles in society—were not related to the amount of daily video game use or preference for specific genres for both female and male players.

The APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls suggested that media, such as television or video games, can shape and affect beliefs about and attitudes toward gender roles in society. Cultivation theory posits that long-term exposure to media content can affect the perception of social realities and the attitudes toward those. More specifically, it assumes that the perceptions of social realities become more similar to the way these are portrayed in the media, the more heavily the medium is used. These so-called first-order cultivation effects that relate to an individual’s perception of reality are assumed to be complemented by second-order effects relating to personal beliefs and attitudes. Cultivation theory has been widely used in research on the effects of mass media. A recent literature review found more than 500 published studies that used cultivation theory. Despite the criticism that the theory has faced over the years—including the debate over whether it can actually be called a theory—it still ranks among the most popular theories in communication and media research.

Just what is cultivation theory, you ask?

Cultivation theory is a social theory which examines the long-term effects of television. “The primary proposition of cultivation theory states that the more time people spend ‘living’ in the television world, the more likely they are to believe social reality portrayed on television.” Cultivation leaves people with a misperception of what is true in our world.

Developed by George Gerbner and Larry Gross of the University of Pennsylvania, cultivation theory derived from several large-scale research projects as part of an overall research project entitled “Cultural Indicators”. The purpose of the Cultural Indicators project was to identify and track the “cultivated” effects of television on viewers. They were “concerned with the effects of television programming (particularly violent programming) on the attitudes and behaviors of the American public.”

As you can see, it originally focused on violence and television, but has since been brought into gaming. The authors of the study don’t seem to think it applies, though:

Overall, the evidence for cultivation effects of video game violence is rather limited. Anderson and Dill found no correlation between amount of video game play and
estimations of crime likelihood and feelings of safety after
they controlled for gender. Another cross-sectional study by
van Mierlo and van den Bulck only yielded some evidence
for first-order cultivation effects of violent video games relating to estimates of serious crime and the proportion of
policemen in the workforce, but none for any second-order
effects (These so-called first-order cultivation effects that relate to an individual’s perception of reality are assumed to be complemented by second-order effects relating to personal beliefs and attitudes.). An analysis using data from the same project as the current study found no relationship between the use of videogames in general or preference for first-person shooter games and militaristic attitudes. A long-term experimental study by Chong et al. also found no second-order cultivation effects and only partial support for first-order effects. Similarly,the longitudinal field study by Williams only found first-order cultivation effects for real-world dangers relating to situations that are also present in the world of the particular game that was used.

My former adversary Liana K wrote a piece back in February that had a pretty good section on cultivation theory:

The last important thing to note about cultivation theory is that it doesn’t claim television shapes behaviour. It claims television shapes perception of social reality. For instance, studies were done of schoolchildren, and they found that the kids that watched the most TV thought the world was more dangerous than the kids that watched less. The thought was that television cultivated the idea that the world was scarier. This was referred to as “mean world syndrome.”

I repeat: watching television made people more afraid of violence, not more likely to commit violence. Television doesn’t figure into predicting criminal behaviour, nor does it turn people into Sherlock Holmes.

Extrapolated to sexism, this would mean that viewing sexist material would make people believe the world is more sexist, not turn men into perverts. The implications on Feminist Frequency’s theories on that point alone are significant. If true, the concern shouldn’t be that sexually violent or objectifying content is going to make consumers mimic these behaviours. The concern should be that this content makes people more afraid of rape, abuse, and second-class status because our entertainment is cultivating this mindset.

This is a very valid concern. Excessive fear will hold back entire portions of our society — in this case, women. But our current approach has not been fear reduction.

For example, Anita Sarkeesian does talks where she displays horrid, vicious tweets and emails she’s received. According to cultivation theory and mean world syndrome, if exposed to heavy doses of this messaging, her audience will become more afraid that they too will be attacked. If Sarkeesian is cultivating fearful attitudes through repeated, systematic exposure to vicarious abuse, this is, to borrow the word, “pernicious.”

For the record, I’m not saying she should be muzzled from talking about her experiences. I’m just applying the theories Feminist Frequency uses to their own work.

You can see that Anita has been thoroughly discredited yet again. The study itself is a stunning rebuke of everything her and the scumbag SJW army have been claiming for years. But watching them today makes me convinced that they are going to try to slither out of this. Take a look at Leigh Alexander’s drunk ass, blatantly lying about the positions her side has taken:

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They can try to wiggle out of this, but anyone who looks at the evidence knows that their “gaming causes sexism” talking point is now thoroughly debunked. I can only imagine that more reports like this will be coming out in the future. The SJWs certainly won’t stop with their lies and scams, since that’s how they make a living. But they won’t be able to outrun the evidence forever.

58 comments
    1. And about time. Glad someone finally decided to shut these idiots up by actually testing their premise.

      1. It probably won’t but it’s satisfying to know we have something we can refer to anytime someone keeps bringing the “sexist” card into play.

  1. Man that complete lack of awareness from those two idiots at the end.
    “Too bad no one ever said video games make you sexist”
    Does she even know what Fem Freq is about? I can’t take this amount of stupid.

    Also if that pic at the end, that article is written by Ben Kuchera how rubbish is that. He talks about “researchers say this” and cites absolutely nothing.

    1. Well not citing studies and sources makes it harder to debunk his unresearched or just outright lie filled article. With nothing specific to disprove as far as studies go anyways.

      Leave out citations and delete any comments asking for citations or disagreeing with it and you are good to go.

      1. I take the route of “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”.

    2. People like them don’t like being wrong, so they shoo away proof and act like there was nothing to prove wrong in the first place.

    1. You can try, but for those who are so invested in it they’ll make sure it lives on in some zombie form for quite awhile.

  2. I remember Femfreq once citing a study that observed the increase in the use of sexist terminology after playing Leisure Suit Larry. But the study itself said that they were reluctant to say the findings could be indicative of a broader phenomenon (I think due to the small sample size)

    This report from Germany is a single study, so I’d like to see similar findings from other areas before claiming a win.

    As for Femfreq and their supporters, I expect them to employ the “TvW series only highlights examples, and they say in each video that it’s possible to enjoy a problematic game” line.

    1. I read that study, it also indicated the effects were only short term, like maybe an hour or two after the game, words sticking out returned to normal after that. Also they were using sexual words right after a sexual game, replace that with fantasy oriented words (dragons, wizards, etc) and the same thing would probably happen right after a fantasy game. It was a study to me that only supported primacy and recency, not sexism.

    2. Don’t really see why it matters. Even in a fantasy world where games made people more violent and sexist in attitudes.. so fucking what?

  3. Of course they’re implying that the content has real world effects, and of course it’s bullshit.

    If they dropped that claim, then they’re basically just arguing for what they like, and they can’t bring morality into it at all. So they will never drop that claim. They’re squirm and wiggle out of it when someone shows the evidence, then bring it back up when something bad happens that they think they can pin on media they don’t like. They’re liars.

  4. They don’t care whether what they’re saying is true, they just want it heard, because they know, like Faux News, that once it’s heard, it riles people up.

    1. Like the rolling stone article, it was false, they’ve apologized, but the damage has already been done, that frat and those kids are damned by many no matter what rolling stone says now. Or even more akin to gaming, the brad Wardell sexual harassment story, suit was dropped with prejudice, but most people either don’t know that or willfully ignore it when they bring up the suit and how horrible a person brad is because of it. The damage to him had been done, and only two of the people that some of the original articles lambasting him have apologized, and even then it’s not a serious apology, they did it because they were called out.

      1. Yes and remember it was perfectly fine to report on Brads personal dealings and absolutely drag his name through the mud over and over again without ever actually getting his side of the story but we are not allowed to EVER talk about what some other people do in their personal lives…nope off limits. In that case we can only talk about things relevant to games because as we all know peoples history character is never important

      2. There’s a phrase: ‘The process is the punishment’. You hear it a lot in tort reform and ‘lawfare’ discussion.

        The idea isn’t that you win, per se. The idea is to drag the person through the processes as long as possible, inconvenience them, make them pay for an attorney, smear them in media, etc.

  5. This has HUGE implications outside of what was studied. If this study is correct that means lots of other things where people said such and such made me do this is incorrect. This also means much of the fear in this world can be directly connected to the media as well as newspapers and other sources.

    1. Well, yes. This is established common knowledge. Why do you think the elderly are always living in fear of having tos ur I’ve on cans of cat food so they can afford their heart pills? Because television convinced them they needed to be. This is the role popular media and journalism fulfill. Fear mongering.

      1. Fox news runs almost nothing but commercials designed to make old people afraid of the world. Whether its medication or being robbed while you sleep if you believe the ads on that channel imminent death is around every corner. Its a nonstop barrage of terror both from ads and the “reporters” and clearly it works because their main audience is afraid of everything at all times.

        1. No offense old boy, but it ain’t just Fox. MSNBC is absolutely hilarious. And then you get to Vox Media, and you start to wonder if they’re actually living on the same planet as you.

    2. It’s true, as well as thoughts about racism – both how it effects you and how others maintain it.

      There’s a narrative out there that’s being sold and we CANNOT fucking buy it.

  6. Irrelevant. Most gamers, most of the public, gaming journalists, and developers are already bought in and accept that it DOES. In turn, this legitimizes all other accusations of games being associated with things like violence. Studies like this mean fuck all when the people who love games, the all about games, report on games, and make games believe games and gamers are evil sexists encouraged to be so by evil vile video games.

  7. Ralph you are the boss … Extra points for the screenshot taken with a ps vita (my favorite gaming Console)

  8. A study has shown that when playing video games our brain functions the same way as when we imagine things. Video games can at best make us reflect on reality, but since this does not bring any new information it can not really make a person sexist unless they would become it anyway since no new information is given.

    If anyone finds a link to this study can they link it? I couldn’t dig it up again.
    closest I could find: http://www.dementiaresearchfoundation.org.au/blog/imagine-visualising-brain-while-playing-video-games

  9. does this mean we can spoof Anita’s videos and place this shit in the links? I think yes. Yes a lot. Yes with no other fearing asshole and shill saying no. Fuck her and every other SJW that exists.

    I just wish anyone on 8Chan would follow and give precisely 0 fucks about dmca. Spoof accounts, bitches.

  10. ,,,this report is being scrubbed,,an archive of it disappeared and your 8chan file linked in this story is dead Mr.TheRalph…did anyone stash this anywhere safe?

  11. You guys need to familiarise yourselves with the defence tactic used by Creationists which someone in the scientific community dubbed “Black Knight Syndrome” (based on the Monty Python sketch from Holy Grail).
    The defence is basically to ignore or deny the report and its individual findings. That or they will just use weasel ways to challenge every point you make which uses it, saying “that point doesnt apply because….. blah”.
    Or there is option three: “Well that is just one study. Our extensive research says…..blah”
    Black Knighting….the favorite defence of the Creationists since the Scopes Monkey Trial in the 1920s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690

  12. Hoping this will make a difference. Sure is nice to have something to link to when arguing about this.

    Will it change anything? Propably not. Just look at how many assholes still thinks Vaccinating your child might give them Autism, even though the study that claimed this was debunked and the author defamed well over a decade ago.

      1. Pff, right, she doesn’t know what ‘enough’ means. She’ll keep milking this cow even after it runs dry.

        You saw those tweets. You know she just doesn’t know when to stop.

  13. Something to keep in mind about all of the BS the Kool-Aid Brigade wants to talk about:

    1) Cultivation theory is so full of holes it might as well be a bachelor’s only pair of underwear, and is heavily criticized already. Primarily because it only tries to identify causes of stuff after the fact, which is literally a logical fallacy – post hoc ergo propter hoc – as well as a host of other valid criticisms I won’t get into. It’s really only slightly more credible than Patriarchy “Theory”.

    Important because basically, Kool-Aid Brigade, Funita and Josh are essentially trying to USE Cultivation theory to claim the effect of sexism through the vidya.

    2) As stated by Liana and others, even IF (and that’s a big fucking IF) Cultivation theory were true, the effect of sexism in games would be TO REDUCE SEXISM IN REAL LIFE. By demonstrating sexist shit, it would make people more aware of sexist shit, and while yeah, everyone reacts to images different from everyone else, the general assumption is that it would make people less, not more sexist.

    Important because basically, Duke Nukem paying strippers to strip and slapping literally objectified women on the ass has literally done more to combat sexism than Funita and Josh have ever been able to manage. They are total failures at their proclaimed aims.

    3) Also on that point, there was a statistical report a bit ago that showed that as gaming became more popular, actual rates of youth violence have dropped. Similarly, this paper – http://anthonydamato.law.northwestern.edu/adobefiles/porn.pdf – showed a similar correlation between porn access and consumption with rates of rape. Basically, as porn went up, rape went down (and despite media hysteria to the contrary, rape in the US is the lowest it’s ever been – including on college campuses). The theory is that having an outlet for transgressive behavior (porn/vidya) serves to sate base impulses in these areas and lead to less acting out on said impulses. It’s a replacement.

    While correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, the fact that there are multiple factors that exhibit such similar trends is a point that in these cases, they might. I won’t jump the gun and say this with certainty, but eventually a study’s going to appear on this “Replacement Theory” and I’m guessing it will carry more weight with time.

    Important because basically, it means that if Funita and Josh wanted to actually do what they say their goals are, they should probably be saying that they want Bayonetta to wear less and act dumber, that Mario should be smacking Peach after saving her from Bowser, and that the long Tetris block should literally be a penis so it can rape the awaiting blocks who fear their oblivion, while singing the high praises of GTA. Such transgressive stuff would further act as better replacement for acting like a sexist prick and reduce sexism more effectively, and you’d think that’s what these folks actually want (since they say that it is).

    TL;DR – Basically, the above reasons show that Funita and Joshintosh are idiots peddling bad science, that Duke Nukem is a better feminist than they are, and that their actions are promoting sexism and making it worse for women than if they just stopped. They are TOTAL failures.

  14. I’ve watched several of Antia’s videos and not once has she mentioned “cultivation theory” which you would expect a video educating you about the subject would mention. Hmmmmm…..

  15. Holy shit. I can’t get over the Leigh Alexander goalpost shift. Such a blatant lie. I couldn’t contain my sides when I read that. These people will never admit they were wrong and back down, they just deflect. It’s fucking pathetic.

    Also, as much as I wish it would happen, Joshnita will not back down. They’ve made a lot of money in the con game and will simply handwave this away, and just like Jack Thompson, they’re only going to back down when they face legal issues.

  16. The problem with Feminist Frequency in general, is that it attempts to justify the “tropes” in video games by implying those tropes are intentionally used to an end, when convenience is generally the norm. The problem with this approach however is that everything must be explained, and in order for women to be subjugated, the issue or “trope” must be inherently damaging to women in some way, or explained to be. Sexual violence as shown by tropes is instigated by the exemplification of women, not that video games directly influence it, (I do not believe this at all btw, it’s just how FF puts it and how they’ll weasel out.)

    They can still state that the oversexualization and the usage of “tropes” (ugh) in games of female characters causes men to value women less in society. Thus, they have less issue with violence towards them.

    If SJW’s are remotely intelligent, and most of them really aren’t thank goodness, they can pretty easily weasel their way out of the findings here. Also, it’s more than likely this article will be pushed down and buried because it’s not a pot stirring find. We know news media won’t cover it, and nobody else save the predisposed to use its findings will cite it. The article will garner biased status even if it isn’t, and things will continue as if the obstruction never existed. That’s how it works.

  17. It’s damning to the validity of their “scholarship,” but Sarkeesian & McIntosh won’t care. They’re firmly rooted in postmodernity, so I imagine they consider the objectivity of this study to be oppressive, and when pressed on it that’s exactly what they’ll likely say.

  18. Did anyone hear that? Oh, right, that’s the sound of the SJWs whole charade that they’ve built up for almost three decades now crashing down on them.

  19. The study actually has a number of issues with it. The first being that it was looking at German teenagers. Germany has a completely different culture than in the US, so it isn’t comparable at all.

    Second, the study only looked at surveyed responses to liking of genres and hours played. This has little to do with issues of whether specific instances of sexism in specific games contribute to sexist attitudes on the part of the players.

    In short, the study was far too broad to have any real results and the study even says that multiple times.

  20. I’d just like to thank you, Ralph, for running this article, as I think it really cuts to the core of the arguments that Anita and her acolytes present. They accuse us of misrepresenting them when we point out that games cannot cause violence or sexism or racism, because in their minds imputing the ‘reinforcement’ of sexist attitudes to video games via cultivation theory is a separate claim. They can no longer hide behind that as a defense now that we have access to this study. Ultimately, Leigh Alexander would still need to provide data that suggests gamers were sexist, as a group, in order for her claim to be true, even if she were to attempt to appeal to Gerbner’s line of research with respect to how games themselves influence people.

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