Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

Game | Life is the latest outlet to talk to psychologist Carole Lieberman about her recent "games cause rape" comments to Fox News. Much like every other outlet that has sought out an explanation for those outlandish comments (or some evidence to back those comments up), Wired instead finds a wall. And let’s face it, there’s no back pedaling from the fantastic conclusion that Lieberman drew in that Fox News article.

The most interesting comments don’t come from Lieberman in Wired’s piece – they come from Iowa State University professor Douglas A. Gentile, who soundly squelches her claim that there are "thousands of studies" that draw some sort of correlation between sexual scenes in games and real world sexual assault.

"I don’t know where [Lieberman] would get any evidence for this opinion," said Iowa State University professor Douglas A. Gentile, who has studied media violence since 1999. "There’s really very little to substantiate her claims in research literature."

In a phone interview with Wired, Gentile could not think of any modern games that contain real sexual content. Games like "Leisure Suit Larry and Custer’s Revenge," Gentile said, are hard to find on store shelves.

In her extended conversations with Wired through email and on the phone, Lieberman continued to say that there are a number of studies that support what she says. At the end of it she went from "thousands" to "hundreds" of studies:

"Over the years, I have read hundreds of studies linking videogames to violence. Rape, as a violent act, is implied in them," she wrote in an e-mail. "When videogames are violent and sexual, it causes the players to become desensitized to rape and think it is a ‘game.’"

Unfortunately for her, not one researcher that commented in the Wired article agreed with her. Another example:

"No serious researcher is linking playing violent videogames with criminal violence," Gentile said. "There is good evidence that playing violent videogames will lead to increases in aggressive behavior, and violence is a very extreme subtype of physical aggression … but there is almost no evidence that playing a violent videogame has a clear causal link to that level of serious criminal violence."

Unfortunately for Lieberman, it is too late to say what she should have said right after that Fox News article was published: "I was mistaken."

Read the full article here. It is an interesting dissection of the whole situation.

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  1. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    She actually admitted she was wrong. Jack, no matter how glaringly obvious he was wrong, would never admit any fault or error on his behalf. She may have a few more brain cells than the disbarred one.

    ============== James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

  2. 0
    black manta says:

    Why does it not surprise me that, when pressed, she couldn’t cite a single study or sources?  Instead, she thinks it’ll automatically be accepted as fact by saying, "Since I’m a psychologist, it’s becuase I say so."  Just like JT couldn’t back up a single thing he said, because he assumed since he was a lawyer – and therefore an authority figure in a supposed position of trust – he must automatically be right.

    Just proves to me she only is saying these things for the sake of getting attention, and that’s all there is to it.

  3. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    She talks about "hundreds and thousands of studies" and yet can’t name a single one?

    You know what we need? To go through the GP archives, pull out all the articles of all the studies of gaming effects, both good and bad, whether they be for violence, addiction, sex, depression, obesity or whatever, and put them all into one, big tome. Organize them in two sections, good and bad studies, and catagorize them by their "genres".

    That way, we’re ready next time we go into debates about "research", like this.

  4. 0
    Monte says:

     I guess the remaining 1/3 would be misinterpretting/exgerating studies, such as translating "aggressive behavior" to "real world violence"… y’know have these studies been defining what "aggressive behavior" is? cause just from the sounds of it i might go with it meaning a long range of things including having temper tantrums and resorting to verbal abuse… y’know something that’s not really at all dangerous

  5. 0
    GrimCW says:

    how did it go?

    "You’ve been measured, you’ve been weighed, and you’ve been found wanting." or something like that?

    she should really go back and find sources for her information, i’d half bet 2/3 of it was bullox some politician put out, or copy/pasted info from other bad "research" repeated over and over.

    otherwise i’m sure the movement for this would be stronger and not just limited to over zealous politicians, lawyers (out for easy money since the tobacco thing dried up), and old farts who’ll believe literally anything their told.

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