Men who harass women online are losers.
Not that we have to tell you that.
But what we mean is, they literally are losers – and it’s proven by research.
Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, observed how men treated women during 163 plays of the video game Halo 3.
The two researchers tracked the comments that the players made to one another as the games played out. They found that – no matter how well they played in their game – the men were generally cordial to one another. Those who were skilled at the game also tended to compliment and congratulate other players of both sexes. But those who were lacking in the video game department, however, were observed to make nasty comments toward the female gamers.
Meaning, the sexist guys were literally the losers – losing in both the video game world and most likely in real life.
According to the researchers, video games actually make incredible proxies for studying real-life behaviour — especially Halo 3. The dynamics of the video game, according to researchers, can be found in other online spaces like Twitter, Reddit, and 4chan. The researchers say that, in each of these online worlds, a recent influx of females has disrupted a pre-existing male-dominated hierarchy – much like in the gaming world.
“As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” writes Kasumovic. “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.”
For the guys with skill, they’re smart and confident enough not to let estrogen faze them.
The losers? Not so much.