Sexual Exploitation Of The Female Body Essay

1278 Words Nov 6th, 2015 6 Pages
It’s been over twenty years since I furiously tore the wrapping paper from an oversized Super Nintendo box. Inside the next wrapped box, I found what would become my most beloved cartridge, Donkey Kong Country. As an eight year old, I didn’t notice that the only female character was unplayable, hyper-sexualized and used as a reward for reaching the save point. In fact, I spent countless afternoons collecting bananas and smashing barrels while completely unaware that my favorite game was contributing to one of the greatest problems facing the game industry today. But after nearly two decades of gaming, this issue has become startling apparent to me. As a female gamer, I feel completely isolated in a market that I’ve been supporting for the majority of my life. Why is this? The sexualization of women in video games, the unavailability of playable female characters, and the constant threat of sexual harassment has made the gaming community an unwelcoming and unsafe environment for female gamers.
Sexual exploitation of the female body is prevalent in many video games and can have a negative effect on the self-efficacy of female gamers. From Candy Kong to Lara Croft, video games are notorious for their sexual, idealized versions of female characters. In their study, presented in the journal article, “The Effects of the Sexualization of Female Video Game Characters on Gender Stereotyping and Female Self-Concept,” Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz and Dana Mastro researched the frequency…

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