[MUD-Dev] The Price of Being Male

Boyle Boyle
Sun Jun 29 18:44:02 CEST 2003

From: Castronova, Edward [mailto:ecastronova at Exchange.FULLERTON.EDU]
> From: Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com

> I suppose everyone thinks its normal and OK that being a man in a
> woman-suit is something that the average man is uncomfortable
> with. I kind of think that's a problem.

> Anyway, when I conceived of the paper, I thought it was going to
> show how body-switching made the sexes equal in treatment. I
> didn't expect that the sexualization of roles would make it so
> that men still had a preference for fronting as male. But that's
> the way it is. As I said in the paper, it has to be a cultural
> thing, it has nothing to do with abilities or skills. Maybe I am
> reading into it too much, but thanks for kicking it around.

I think you're painting sexual discrimination with too broad a
brush.  There's a big difference between not wanting to be seen as a
woman simply out of preference, and sexual discrimination.  Let's
say I that I like my name a lot.  I prefer people to think of me as
"Paul".  I really don't want to be known by other names, like, say,
Bob.  Does it make me an Bob discriminator?  No.

All that your study can really say is that people recognize male and
female avatars as different, non-asexual beings.  Sexual
discrimination, on the other hand, would require that you somehow
could conclude in the game world that male avatars were handed
better roles, or some sort of preferential treatment.  I think if
you investigated THAT aspect,(perhaps you have?) you'd notice that
there are many advantages to presenting as female, and in fact,
there's a gender bias toward females. (My only evidence is
anecdotal, from female and female presenting EQ & MUD players, but
is sufficient to convince me that's the case)

I also wonder if you'd achieve the same level of price difference
(or more) based on something as simple as character's name, in
GMUD's that don't allow renaming...
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