Report: 33 per cent of female gamers have experienced abuse or discrimination from male counterparts

Report: 33 per cent of female gamers have experienced abuse or discrimination from male counterparts

A report published by march research firm Bryter gives a shocking - but not surprising - insight into the abuse faced by women in games.

The research - which interviewed 1,151 women aged 16 or older - shows that one-third of female gamers have experienced some form of abuse or discrimination from male players.

Of that figure, 40 per cent have been sent inappropriate content or messages, 32 per cent of been harassed sexually and ten per cent have received rape threats.

Bryter's data shows that 52 per cent of those who have received abuse have done so verbally.

Of the respondents who experienced abuse or discrimination, 40 per cent had been sent inappropriate content, 40 per cent had been verbally abused in-game while 38 per cent had faced exclusion based on their being female.

32 per cent experienced sexual harassment and 23 per cent had received verbal abuse offline - presumably meaning after the game was over.

16 per cent had faced abuse on social media or other platforms, while ten per cent had received rape threats. Five per cent of respondents had had their computer or social media hacked.

The end result of this is that nearly a quarter of respondents to this survey did not reveal the fact that they were female when playing games; 20 per cent do not speak when playing online, while 11 per cent simply don't play online anymore.

Only 15 per cent felt they had adequate recourse to deal with these problems, and 62 per cent felt they weren't represented well enough in the games industry.

Though a panel size of 1,151 for research like this is not the biggest, the results do line up with what we have heard anecdotally from women in the industry. 

“Our research demonstrates a disturbing level of abuse and sexually violent threats towards female gamers," research manager Jenny McBean said.

"The online gaming environment is one that is particularly hostile to female participation, with 63 per cent of those who said they’ve been abused or discriminated against saying it has happened in this environment. Nearly half of all gamers are women, and it is unacceptable that women are being subjected to this abuse. Our research has shown that fear of abuse is impacting on female participation in online multiplayer gaming."

A full infographic from Bryter is below:

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


No comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies