Does a "sexualized" avatar invite disrespectful behavior online? While conducting an experiment to measure human empathy toward human actors compared with digital representations, researchers discovered a strange quirk: men judged the avatar pleading for sympathy more harshly than the actress.
An interesting (but slightly limited) study was recently posted on the Pixels and Policy blog, about attitudes towards "female avatars and gender expectations." The results? For many women players, it's easier to embrace sexualization than to fight it.