In their study, Dietz found that, very often, women are depicted in video games as victims or as damsels in distress. These female characters have insignificant roles as secondary characters; they have no ability to actively participate in the game and require a male character to save them.

The only observed gender difference was, men were more effective at gaining space and seemed to learn the goal faster than females. What it shows, say the researchers, is a brain basis for why men are more drawn to these types of games and why they are more vulnerable to playing them too much!

As part of her doctoral project, Lynch compiled 571 playable female characters from 1989-2014 and examined them for signs of hypersexualization, which included nudity, over-enlarged breasts or hips and unrealistically narrow waists.