“Increased cognitive load during video game play reduces rape myth acceptance and hostile sexism after exposure to sexualized female avatars” examines how mental effort, interactivity and sexualization affect hostile sexism, rape myth acceptance and self-objectification.
Participants in the study played or watched games with either a sexualized or non-sexualized character after memorizing either seven or two symbols. The study found that with a higher cognitive load, or more to memorize, men who played the game showed reduced hostile sexism.
Teresa Lynch, MA’13, PhD’17, and Nicholas L. Matthews, MA’11, PhD’16, conducted the study with Read. Both Lynch and Matthews are now faculty members at Ohio State University’s School of Communication.