Gaming is widely viewed as the most hostile of all online environments for women, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
A report covering online harassment, published today, reveals that 27 percent of all internet users report being called an offensive name online, regardless of gender. Among young adults, the number rises to around 50 percent.
One in four young women reports being sexually harassed and around the same number have received physical threats. Also, 18 percent of young women have received sustained harassment, compared to 7 percent among all internet users.
As the GamerGate campaign continues to attract mainstream media headlines, gaming fares especially poorly as a welcoming online neighborhood for women. Only 3 percent of internet users believe online gaming is especially welcoming to women. 51 percent said it was equally welcoming to both genders, compared to 75 percent who felt the same way about social networking apps.
The starkest results were for online gaming
Gaming scored lowest as a welcoming place for women, or equally welcoming, among five online destination types, including dating sites, comments sections and discussion sites.
"Respondents were asked whether they thought a series of online platforms were more welcoming toward men, more welcoming toward women, or equally welcoming to both sexes," explained the research company. "While most online environments were viewed as equally welcoming to both genders, the starkest results were for online gaming. Some 44 percent of respondents felt the platform was more welcoming toward men."