75% Of Female Gamers Hide Their Gender When Playing Online, Study Reveals

75% Of Female Gamers Hide Their Gender When Playing Online, Study Reveals
Images via Twitch | Pokimane | Amouranth | YouTube | Valkyrae

Written by 

Emma Hill

Published 

9th Mar 2022 15:46

A recent study released to celebrate International Women's Day 2022 revealed some depressing statistics about female players. One piece of data showed that 76% of female gamers hide their gender when playing online, with many doing so in order to avoid sexual harassment. 

In recent years, the industry has taken a number of steps to ensure that gaming is a safe and inclusive space for women. Helped by the incredible femme-identifying trailblazers who have helped to change the perceptions of women in the gaming community. However, the issue around harassment targeted towards female players, especially in online games, is no secret.

Now, a recent study has revealed just how impactful this harassment can be as more than three-quarters of female players have admitted to hiding their gender when playing online. However, this wasn't the only frustrating statistic to be uncovered. 

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Three-Quarters Of Female Players Hide Their Gender When Playing Online

To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, pop culture website FandomSpot ran a survey exploring female players and their behaviour online. The results showed that 76% of women have "disguised their gender" when playing online. Although there are a number of reasons why this could be, a whopping 93% of participants said: "it was because they had experienced sexual harassment online from fellow gamers."

While the statistics are shocking, for many female players the results from the study will not come as a huge surprise. Female streamers have regularly spoken of the sexual harassment they receive on a daily basis, if not from male players, then from trolls in their chat.

Image Credit: Pokimane | Twitch
Click to enlarge
Twitch streamer Pokimane pretended to be a man during one of her game playthroughs.

Streamers, such as Imane "Pokimane" Anys, Rachel "Valkyrae" Hofstetter, and Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa have been open about the abuse they have received during their playthroughs. During one of her VALORANT playthroughs with her rumoured boyfriend Kevin, Pokimane even pretended to be a man to compare how she was treated by her fellow players. 

What Else Did The Study Reveal?

There was some good news from the study, which revealed that the playing field is slowly starting to level out with 45% of the gaming community being made up by femme-identifying players. However, the data also stated: "Only one in five women (22%) feel fully comfortable chatting to other gamers through microphones while gaming. A quarter (25%) of female gamers have stopped playing certain games due to online abuse [and] 70% of female gamers agree that they feel that online abuse happens to them more frequently now than it did a year ago."

 

On a more hopeful note, 87% of women who took part in the study said they "wouldn't stop what they love doing as a result of any backlash from being a female in gaming." So, while there is clearly some work to be done to make the gaming community a safe space for women, our appetite for gaming remains undiminished.

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Emma Hill
About the author
Emma Hill
Emma Hill is a former Junior Journalist at GGRecon.
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