Can Video Games Be Used to Educate College Students About Sexual Violence?

Sharyn J. Potter, a sociology professor from the University of New Hampshire, has conducted a study that designed and evaluated the effectiveness of using a video game to reduce sexual and relationship violence. The study found that trivia and adventure games may increase a player’s awareness of sexual violence as well as teach active bystander skills that he or she can use in real-life situations.

The researchers evaluated the players’ bystander attitudes and efficacy scores directly after they had played the game and again four weeks later. During the first testing, the changes in behavior were consistent. However, during the second testing, the changes were not sustained over the four weeks. Future research is needed to determine how to make these behavioral changes more lasting and how gender is connected to the success of games made for prevention programming, according to the researchers.

Dr. Potter received a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York. She earned a master of public health degree and a doctorate in medical sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment


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