Washington: A team of scientists using data from a multi-player popular video game has revealed that some men who harass women online are generally losers and do not like women encroaching on their turf.
The researchers from Miami University Middletown in the US and University of New South Wales in Australia found that the fear of losing to a woman irks a lot of men, wired.com reported.
“As a consequence, they lash out in an attempt to remove women from the competitive playing field,” said Michael Kasumovic, professor at the University of New South Wales.
To reach this conclusion, the duo examined data from an earlier study that featured three kinds of male and female players each teaming up with others in the popular video game “Halo 3”.
The aim was to record the conversation among players and comments that would be made towards players, particularly women.
The researchers found that men who were of lower skill were more positive towards men and passed more negative comments towards women.
It appeared men who were losing in the game were not too happy to have to compete with women.
“But the really good result is that men with higher skills were much more positive to women,” Kasumovic noted in a paper that appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.
According to a latest report from the global think tank Pew Research Centre, 40 percent of internet users have personally experienced harassment.
While both genders are frequent victims of online abuse, women are “particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking,” the report said.