Computer games may be gay, study finds

The study found that gay and bisexual male gamers are more likely than straight men to play video games and have lower levels of social anxiety, depression and overall happiness.

The researchers believe these findings could explain why gay and bi men are more attracted to video games than straight people, and that their gaming is more socially acceptable. 

Gay men are not the only ones who experience gaming’s sexual connotations.

Gay men who play video game characters are often the only gamers who have any experience with gaming outside of gaming.

For example, a study by the University of Chicago found that gamers are about four times more likely to report having played a game with a gay character than a straight one. 

The study of 2,000 heterosexual, gay and lesbian gamers also found that about a quarter of gay gamers report experiencing negative experiences from other gamers. 

These findings were supported by another recent study of gay men who have played video games for at least one year, and found that those gamers reported higher levels of anxiety and depression.

These findings are consistent with the recent research that found a link between depression and gaming, and the finding that many gay men experience sexual connotation. 

Researchers also found a significant correlation between sexual conformance and the number of gay and biphobic online games played. 

“These findings suggest that video games are, at least in part, a way for people to express themselves without the risk of being harassed or discriminated against,” said lead author Dr. Roberta M. Anderson, an associate professor of social psychology at the University at Buffalo. 

Dr. Anderson’s study also found higher levels and a statistically significant increase in depression among gay and female gamers.

The study, which was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, also found gaming was associated with higher levels not only of sexual conformation but also a higher degree of anxiety, loneliness and negative affect. 

What does the study find?

The researchers also looked at data from a national survey of gamers conducted in 2010 and found a statistically insignificant correlation between positive online sexual conformity and the frequency of having played video game.

The data showed that among gay, bisexual and transgender gamers, those who reported having experienced sexual conaction did not experience greater levels of depression, anxiety or depression, but did report a greater degree of positive conformation and a lower number of games played online. 

According to the researchers, the results of this study do not prove that gaming is associated with sexual conversion.

“The current study does not definitively show that playing video games causes heterosexual men to be gay or bisexual,” they wrote.

“However, our findings suggest there is a possible relationship between positive gaming and positive sexual conformedness. 

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