Number of sexualised female characters has fallen ‘significantly’, study finds

A new paper from a group of researchers at Indiana University has suggested that the treatment of female characters in games has drastically improved over the last ten years.

"In the 1980s and early 1990s, a lot of the graphical integrity just didn’t allow for the characters to be sexualised,"explainedlead author Teresa Lynch. "When we fast-forward to the next generation of consoles, we see the transition to 3D graphics, and that’s when we saw a big spike in the sexualisation of female characters. That continued its upward trajectory through the early 2000s and then, suddenly, we saw a decrease."

However, the study continued, this negative effect has been somewhat reversed over the last decade.

"We found that in essentially the last eight years, there has been a significant decrease in the sexualisation of female characters," Lynch explained. "The remake of the Tomb Raider series and Lara Croft’s redesign is an excellent example of the way the industry is now humanising female characters."

Despite this, it’s not all good news. While lead female characters were found to be less likely to be sexualised, secondary characters continued to be sexualised to a much greater degree”.

Develop has the full story.

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