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Online Sexism Correlates with Male Gamers’ Inadequacy, Study Finds

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.


  1. leslie 2015-07-21 10:10

    grudz is a loser!!

  2. mike from iowa 2015-07-21 11:42

    Do whackos parading assault weapons all around in public correlate to sexual equipment shortcomings?

  3. Porter Lansing 2015-07-21 13:25

    These Halo bottom feeders are a proper metaphor of the Republican Party. “the guys at the bottom, who stand to lose more status” – “a kind of Neanderthal defense mechanism for low-status, non-dominant men trying to maintain a shaky grip on their particular ideology” – “SD Republicans often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant political status” As your mother said, “Search out bullies and put your boot in their ear.” (@Conservatives ~ that’s a metaphor, also.)

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-07-21 15:25

    Mike, I think there is a reason they’re called “Ammosexuals”. I often call them “Compensators”.

    The hundreds of untested rape kits is nothing less than an outrage. Those kits contain evidence taken directly from a woman’s body, including her vagina. Very soon after the horrific experience of rape, on the hope of her attacker being caught, she submits to a second invasive and traumatizing examination. After she has endured all that, how dare they ignore the package of evidence!?! How dare they!!!

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-21 20:04

    Deb, I agree. We have evidence of a crime, obtained at significant personal cost to the victim. Why would police not follow up?

  6. mike from iowa 2015-07-21 20:18

    Nationwide there are 75000 untested rape kits.

  7. CLCJM 2015-07-24 19:02

    Deb, you and I seem to be on the same page on many topics. And I agree, how dare they ignore those rape kits??? I really believe it’s just something that our male dominated society still doesn’t take seriously. There’s probably still an attitude that there’s no such thing as rape or the women asked for it or wore the wrong clothes, etc., etc. So they ignore it and rapists are actually encouraged to repeat the crime because they can do so with impunity. Glad police and prosecutors are finally beginning to get past that and test the kits. It seems it can take centuries to change things but perhaps the human race will slowly start doing the right thing!!

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