An eager reader shares this report from the Washington Post that shows that guys who can’t win at Halo tend to make more nasty comments toward female players than guys who know their way around their imaginary machine guns. Researchers think this gaming study reflects sexist behavior in other online venues:
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.”
In other words, like your mother always said, bullies just feel bad about themselves [Caitlyn Dewey, “Men Who Harass Women Online Are Quite Literally Losers, New Study Finds,” Washington Post, 2015.07.20].
Expect the wild-eyed defenders of convicted felon Annette Bosworth, who is now making a show of serving her sentence on Pine Ridge, to cite this study as an explanation of why Marty Jackley and I worked so hard to expose Bosworth’s crimes.
Tangentially Related: In more substantive news of South Dakota’s sexist inadequacy, that Sioux Falls paper reports that South Dakota has just two certified sexual assault nurse examiners, fewer than any neighboring state. South Dakota also has 16. The Sioux Falls Police Department also has 160 untested rape kits.