back to article Major new science: Women more nude, more often online

Virtual women are more likely to be naked than virtual men, researchers at the Canadian University of Laval have revealed, after publishing a scientific paper on the topic. An analysis of nudity in Second Life led the Canadian duo Anna Lomanowska, a psychologistm and Matthieu Guitton, a neuroscientist who specialises in " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was this research sponsored by Second Life?

    An advertorial for SadVille perhaps? Isn't it dead yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Second Life?

      More virtual women are nude online in second life because:

      All the real pretty ones are out on the town.

      All the virtual nude ones belong to real ugly fat ones sitting behind a computer who never go out pretending to be the pretty ones in their virtual world.

      With a small minority of nude virtual women being run by weird blokes with beards pretending to be women and getting a kick out of having a pair of virtual breasts.

      Say it as it is.

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: Second Life?

        quote: "With a small minority of nude virtual women being run by weird blokes with beards pretending to be women and getting a kick out of having a pair of virtual breasts."

        I disagree, I highly doubt it is a small minority of female avatars being run by men. I'm going to cite Lara Croft as an example; what is the male:female player ratio for the Tomb Raider series, where you have no choice but to use a female avatar?

        Blokes like looking at skimpily dressed / nude females, and creating a female avatar means you get to play dressup yourself; I'm sure a majority of guys running a female avatar are deliberately and specifically clothing it in a bikini, or nothing.

        Also, the female gamer demographic is less moose-like than you think. Some of the "real pretty ones" are (happily?) married or in a stable relationship, and rather than being out on the town are inside playing WoW, or Farmville, or Second Life (wouldn't really call that a game, as much as a furry BDSM simulator though). Go through all your pretty female friends and actually ask them if they ever play games, from Angry Birds through to MMOs. You may be surprised at some of the answers :)

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Second Life?

          Maybe gaming ( I played Guildwars for a while - so much so I cant face buying GW2 for more of the same) is different to SL, but if youre going to spend a couple of hours more or less staring at a running arse whilst twitching at keys it might as well be a shapely female one.

          Also - there are no women on teh interwebs!

          Paris for staring at.

          1. Richard 120

            Re: "there are no women on teh interwebs!"

            This is simply not true, there are women on teh interwebs, I've even met some IRL.

            However it is probably psychologically for the best to believe the statement to be true because whilst there may be women on the internet they're most likely not on the same part of the internet that you're on.

            Consider chatting away to someone pretending to be female in a game, is it better to picture them as a bloke, or get carried away and then have a "crying game" moment later on?

            I prefer to think the internet is still void of double X chromosome individuals despite evidence to the contrary.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Second Life? Men and their appendages

            If naked male avatars could be generated with a large swinging penis I am sure statistics would show that the most of the men using said avatars were liars.

            Strangely discriminatory, women avatars can have large breasts but men's cannot have a large appendage.

            I say this is sex discrimination.

            1. Old Handle

              Re: Second Life? Men and their appendages

              You haven't actually played SL, have you?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Second Life?

            " if youre going to spend a couple of hours more or less staring at a running arse whilst twitching at keys it might as well be a shapely female one."

            I'm inclined to agree, though the reason is a bit odder than I realised at first.

            I'm a bisexual male, my taste in men is really trashy (big, ripped meatheads). Now, a lot of male models in games are precisely this- but I've noticed that even the big, ripped males are designed in a very sketchy way. A lot more care (albeit probably lascivious) seems to be taken with the female models, and good grief, the arses are a great deal better- collapsing arse syndrome certainly isn't dead, despite the era of Unreal Tournament being over.

            Doesn't bother me much, as if I have to stare at an arse (some games don't play as well, or don't even offer an option for first person), a nice curvy female one suits me just fine- but it was strange to realise that it's such an imbalance.

            Of course, the problem is more likely me having a mind like a Welsh railway (one track and dirty). It does sound like I am a one-man objectification army- that's actually not the case.. most of the time, honest :)

            (Anon for very obvious reasons, it'd be TMI for coworkers)

        2. Lunatik

          Re: Second Life?

          OK we get it NS, you enjoy dressing up in skimpy outfits just like the rest of us.

          (p.s. a wee hello from Chunky, ex of MLR)

          1. NumptyScrub

            Re: Second Life?

            quote: "OK we get it NS, you enjoy dressing up in skimpy outfits just like the rest of us."

            Absolutely, as mentioned earlier I'd rather stare at a shapely female arse if I'm playing a 3rd person game. :D

            That's probably because I'm a bearded techy troglodyte though ^^;

            1. NoOnions

              Jiggly quarian bumbum

              Quite safe to google for the above - Mass Effect 3 MP character.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Second Life?

          @NumptyScrub. Also doubt the 'small minority' notion, perhaps a followup study could measure correlation between % skin and beard length of player. Anecdotal, a girlfriend who worked as a catwalk model told me she got a kick out of playing as a male avatar during her WoW fad.

          1. Andrew Moore

            Re: Second Life?

            "perhaps a followup study could measure correlation between % skin and beard length of player."

            and length of time player has lived in parents basement.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Second Life?@ NumptyScrub

          Took your advice and asked 15 women between the ages of 28 and 37 if they played games on line.

          11 said no, they had jobs and families that took up most of their time. 3 played solitaire and one, I say one just looked and raised her eyebrows and shook her head (the wife). I was then banished to the shed while the yummy mummy brigade had their weekly bash.

          The consensus in the house was that if you have enough time to strut around as a naked avatar you:

          1. Need to get out more

          2. Need to look at your priorities

          3. Need to get a job

          4. Need to get a girlfriend

          5. Exercise more

          6. Learn how to talk to real people

          7. Probably perverts

          8. Fix the television

          If you recall last year a recently married couple, who were on benefits and could not work because of their weight problems (seriously fat) played the game continuously next to each other on their computers using their 'perfect' body semi naked avatars.

          The woman then divorced her husband because 'his' avatar had an affair with another avatar. I kid you not. She said she could no longer trust him.

        5. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Second Life?

          "Go through all your pretty female friends and actually ask them if they ever play games, from Angry Birds through to MMOs. You may be surprised at some of the answers :)"

          My Facebook feed (not that I ever read it more than once a fortnight) is frequently polluted with status updates from my manager and their scores on some marble bouncing game. I read that, then I see her at work and try to suppress a smile. "You're, like, mid-40s, married, with kids, why the hell are you wasting time on Facebook's games?!". That said, it seems to be the females more than the males in my "friends" list that play these things, sometimes getting quite competitive about it. And the older women kick the younger ones asses regularly.

          The demographic of who uses and enjoys this sort of stuff might surprise people...

          1. gromm
            Thumb Down

            Re: Second Life?

            You should probably take closer note of the times that your boss' status updates get posted.

            As a parent with two young children, I can attest that after the kids go to sleep at 8:30 or 9, there is little else *to* do but fart around on facebook until I'm tired enough to sleep. At that time of day, any housework that hasn't already been done whilst the kids were awake is too exhausting to do that late in the day (or way too noisy), you can't really expect to go out with friends and leave the sleeping kids with your significant other (and besides, you don't have much time left to spend in the first place, especially on a weeknight). "Real" hobbies can sometimes get accomplished, but these days "marble madness" often qualifies for someone's hobby.

            At least it's not the usual old pastime of pissing away your earnings on gambling and booze, so there's that!

      2. Dana W

        Re: Second Life?

        A small minority? What game are you playing?

        Lots of women in WOW, a lot of them play male blood elves so they don't have to deal with people like you.

        1. Piro

          Re: Second Life?

          My girlfriend played a large black male Tauren in World of Warcraft, and when I used to play, I was a pasty white female Blood Elf.


        2. gromm

          Re: Second Life?

          "Lots of women in WOW, a lot of them play male blood elves so they don't have to deal with people like you."

          Or, conversely, because women like genderbending in games for exactly the same reasons that men do (I know, completely crazy!). But with the added benefit/incentive of not dealing with the aforementioned.

      3. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Second Life?

        With a small minority of nude virtual women being run by weird blokes with beards pretending to be women and getting a kick out of having a pair of virtual breasts.

        With the overwhelming majority of nude virtual women being run by weird blokes with beards pretending to be women and getting a kick out of having a pair of virtual breasts.

        there fixed it for you.

        mines the one that shows off my cleavage to best effect (sad but true :D)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Second Life?

          I like a game where my girls can wear ridiculous frilly dresses and carry giant spears... making rusty hearts more or less the only game for me.

  2. Anonymous 16

    I nominate these chaps for....

    This years Ignobel pize

    1. gromm

      Re: I nominate these chaps for....

      Funny how they make the logical leap from "Well, measuring this in real life is too hard, so...", and then bugger the whole thing up with one collossal poor assumption. Namely, that Second Life has anything at all to do with First Life.

  3. Ketlan

    OMG Yawn...

    I don't get how this study has any meaning beyond whatever its undoubtedly vital importance to the last four people in Sadville. How exactly does it relate to flashing one's tits or arse in real life and who exactly the fuck cares?

    Have these people REALLY nothing more interesting to research?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OMG Yawn... @Ketln

      >and who exactly the fuck cares?

      Obviously you do otherwise you wouldn't have bothered to read the article and post your comment

    2. Darryl

      Re: OMG Yawn...

      My tax dollars at work once again.

    3. Michael Dunn

      Re: OMG Yawn...

      Have these people REALLY nothing more interesting to research?

      We can't all get into CERN (or in the US FermiLab).

  4. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

    Goodness gracious

    What a startling piece of research. I would never have guessed that female figures from a fantasy setting have less coverings than male figures from a fantasy setting unless they had told me.

    Or, of course, unless I was someone who ventured into bookshops and comic shops where EVERY female figure in a fantasy setting wears the tanned hides of five mice while the hero is either armoured head to toe or has the whole 'loincloth and a big chopper' thing going on.

    I really must consider going into research to get paid to state the bleedin' obvious.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Goodness gracious - " ... the tanned hides of five mice ..."

      Softcore eh? I read comics where they use the hides of three small mice.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Goodness gracious - " ... the tanned hides of five mice ..."

        Look again.

        Those aren't mice.

      2. Omgwtfbbqtime

        Re: Goodness gracious - " ... the tanned hides of five mice ..."

        reminds me of Red Sofia from Cerebus: -

        Red Sofia: "What do you think of these?!" (Flashes breasts)

        Cerebus:"If you stopped wearing chainmail the scars would go away."

      3. Lamont Cranston

        @frank ly

        Coward! I just by porn.

        No, I jest, no one buys porn, anymore.

    2. MrT

      Paid to state the bleedin' obvious...

      ...sounds like a career at Gartner to me.

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Goodness gracious

      ... while the [male] hero is either armoured head to toe or has the whole 'loincloth and a big chopper' thing going on.

      Well if his chopper was called Brainbiter, then sometimes he'd go "sky clad" too.

  5. Mark Wilson

    Who'd have guessed

    So guys pretending to be women online will wear skimpy clothing because lets face it that is who these people are.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Who'd have guessed

      While I'll grant that probably accounts for a great deal more than the researchers attribute to it, some of them probably are women who would never be caught wearing clothing like that at home let alone in public. The real world has real, lasting consequences. Yes, men should control themselves, but wear clothing like that in public and your chances of being raped go up, so you don't do it. Act like a floozie and there are adverse consequences. In the virtual world none of that happens.

      In a non-computer RPG I played once upon a time, the most conservative of the female players played a seductive floozie in game. In fact one of the funniest moments in our play happened when her character tried to seduce my uber-geek, no social skills character. She rolled a straight up success to seduce him. I said "Brooke looks up and says 'you're not a computer' and goes back to hacking away on his computer.' This was followed by me rolling a critical success and much laughter.

      Another case study: Felica Day and The Guild. The character in the RPG is much more of a flirt than the character she plays in the script. Which mirrors her actions in real life. She may be happy to toss off an innuendo or three while talking on stage, but when some asks 'does the drapery match the curtains' he gets escorted out of the room (and probably by fans if security isn't fast enough).

      1. frank ly

        @Tom 13 Re: Who'd have guessed

        "...toss off an innuendo or three ..."

        I saw what you did there :)

  6. MrT

    Meanwhile, back IRL...

    ... they could've just gone out one weekend in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, or any other major city. Of course, gathering the measurements needed to prove the argument would've put them at greater risk of being punched in the face...

    They should get out more...

  7. Robin

    My Next Research Paper

    I'm off to submit my research grant application for:

    "A Ten-year Study of Coastal Erosion in Sim City"

    1. MrT

      University of East Anglia...

      ... would probably fund that providing you could link it to SIM sea levels rising due to global warming.

  8. fawlty
    Thumb Down

    Great work everybody...

    Is it fair to assume that funding for this would have been less forthcoming if the title had been 'Virtual Environment Reveals Sex-Dependent Nature of Skin Disclosure'?

    Also this smacks of a researcher who was supposed to be working having spent a year messing about on the internet and suddenly getting an ultimatum to publish something.

    Glad I'm not paying Canadian taxes.

  9. Tank boy

    In other news...

    The duo also discovered an unusually large number of really horrible indy/hipster bands that no one has ever heard of on Myspace.

    Keep at it my friends in The Great White North. We don't call you America's Hat for nothing!

  10. Pete 2

    What a waste of a morning

    > After studying 400 avatars

    > physical attractiveness [ was equated to ] the waist-chest ratios

    An alternative theory is that some researcher got caught playing a computer game by his/her/its boss and made up some cockamamie story about "research" and "virtual worlds". Then they found they had to follow through when the boss said "Carry on, I look forward to reading your conclusions".

    So far, so fair enough. However the really sad part of the whole affair is that after scxrambling around for an hour or two to knock together some words and meaningless statistics of dubious quality, they managed to find a publication gullible desperate enough for material to accept, and peer-review, it.

    Coming next, maybe: the effect of a hang-over on FPS scores?

    1. Jimboom

      Re: What a waste of a morning

      >Coming next, maybe: the effect of a hang-over on FPS scores?

      See now, if you are going to do that then you have to be thorough. The effects of being slightly tipsy on your Scores, then being drunk.. then being absolutely blottoed, THEN the effects of a hangovers at all different levels. All the way from "ouch my head hurts" to "OMG I WANT TO DIE!!"

    2. DJ Smiley

      Re: What a waste of a morning

      I'd like to see a study on how they change during the process of drinking. My friends have noticed an amusing trend that the more I drink, the better I become on FPS's.

      I've come to the conclusion that this is due to me relaxing, and being less twitchy while aiming and so getting better at aiming....

      Few years later we'll see the argument for giving all the troops rations of beer when out in the field ;)

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: What a waste of a morning

      @Pete 2

      I wish I could upvote this more than once as I am still giggling at your theory

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Tom 13

      Re: journal of irreproducible results.


      I'm pretty sure if somebody were to give me a $100,000 grant I could reproduce those results within an acceptable margin of error.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody students

    Get a job.

  13. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Is this a problem?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are men in SL playing women, but they are dead easy to spot. So if I, as a guy playing a male avatar can spot them, I'm sure women can spot them even more easily.

    As to the real life females playing female avies, in SL no-one is old - everyone plays someone who is young and sexy. If you are somewhat less than attractive in RL, what's the point of playing an equally unattractive avie when you can go for uber sexy? And if you've got it, flaunt it!

    As has been pointed out, there are many housewives looking for a bit of excitement in their life which they can't irl. They may or may not be a MILF in real life, and even if they are they probably wouldn't behave as they do in SL - but what's wrong with living a little fantasy?

    SL gets an often unfair press - slagging off SL because of the amount of sex there is a bit like saying anyone who uses google is a saddo perve. Just try putting in the most harmless of google search terms and you can guarantee to have some pron links in there. The interwebs is awash with pron as is RL - SL merely reflects that, albeit in a somewhat more open fashion due to the anonymity of your avie.

    All in all, it isn't a great surprise that female avies in SL show more "flesh" - just as it isn't much of a surprise to discover that "hotties" in real life show more flesh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @OP AC

      >the most harmless of google search terms and you can guarantee to have some pron links in there. The interwebs is awash with pron as is

      This type of crap always gets my hackles up. No you can't and no it isn't. Do you read the DM? I can imagine you probably signed up for their block the internet campaign.

      I have never found porn on the internet by accident.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @OP AC

        "I have never found porn on the internet by accident."

        Ah, so you deliberately search for it...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @OP AC

          >Ah, so you deliberately search for it.

          If you really need it spelled out for you, yes. What's your point?

      2. Omgwtfbbqtime

        Re: @ AC - "I have never found porn on the internet by accident."

        Then you're missing out, accidental porn is the best kind.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: I have never found porn on the internet by accident.

        I'm reasonably certain my then 50 year old mother was NOT looking for porn when she did that search that set her active desktop wallpaper to a then popular porn site.

        That I as an experienced web surfer would have expected that possibility when searching for "special girl" in an entirely different matter. (She was trying to search the local hard drive for a picture she had saved of my brother's wife. She put that in the description when she used some piece of cataloging software that came either with a camera or an inkjet printer.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I have never found porn on the internet by accident.

          >my then 50 year old mother was NOT looking for porn

          So your dear old mum found some porn and bookmarked it to show you later. Or maybe she was so shocked she had to go looking deeper into the site just to make sure or find something more to her taste. Either way you've convinced me that a solitary sample of your mum once found porn so it must be everywhere.

          Oh, and did I ever say it wan't possible to find porn accidentally? I don't think I did, merely that I haven't found that to be the case and that a search for an harmless topic cannot guarentee a porn link. It's people like you and the OP that fuel the mass hysteria that porn is everywhere.

    2. Dana W

      I wasn't, and all I got for it was flack for not aiding SLs sea of one handed typists in their quest to die of a masturbation related disorder.

      Yeah, SL the world where you can craft anything you imagine, as long as what you imagine are gigantic genitals, and really ugly lingerie.

      Most people who criticize SL do so because they have BEEN there.

    3. foxyshadis

      > There are men in SL playing women, but they are dead easy to spot. So if I, as a guy playing a male avatar can spot them, I'm sure women can spot them even more easily.

      If you can't verify by meeting everyone on the other end, how on earth can you make this claim?

    4. Jean-Luc

      google search

      >most harmless of google search terms and you can guarantee to have some pron links

      Not entirely true, at least with Google safe search turned on.

      Few years back, the BBC had an article about a primary school teacher bringing in her VCR to school as the school's was kaputt. What she had left in the VCR was quite, quite, NSFW.

      Back home drinking beers with a buddy, I recount the story and google "teacher porn videotape" to show him. Literally. About a split second later, we both spray beer all over the keyboard as we realize the search terms.

      Well, Google didn't find the original article, that's true. But neither did it find much else that was objectionable. I was very impressed.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    Women in SL show more skin... wow who would have thought

    Drive through a major town in the middle of summer and you'll see exactly the same thing, all the blokes stuffed into suits or t-shirt and jeans, and a fair few women wearing nowt but a skimpy summer dress <drool> showing her legs <pant>.... and possibly showing some cleava... dang brb going for a lay down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blimey

      When I (male) wear 1970s above-the-knee shorts in the summer I am pursued by apparently complimentary wolf-whistles from teenage girls - and somewhat more threatening cat-calls from groups of women out with their children. It appears the trend for women to be "laddish" has changed the balance of such public behaviour between the sexes. Women in groups verbally harassing single young males has been a fact of life in many industries for at least a century. The IT punch room of the 1960s was a legendary example.

      Nowadays young males on their own are intimidated by this sort of aggression when considering what to wear in public. They have also been sensitised to the possibility that they might be thought to be trying to attract members of their own sex. The mores and nuances of social fashion are always likely to be complicated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blimey

        I wish I got wolf whistles - I would put up with this aggression.

        Sadly my lack of fashion sense, combined with a youth wasted as a goth, and now later on in life the belly of an aging ale drinker, I have somewhat missed the boat.

        OH WELL

    2. Montreal Sean

      Re: Blimey

      I'm lucky enough to live in Montreal, Quebec, known to be home to some of the most beautiful people in the World...

      Being a field technician during the summer is...distracting. :)

  16. RISC OS

    This didn't need doing...

    ...everyone knows why female characters wear less clothes. It's because the graphics are created by male 30 something vergin nerds who believe womeon would have worn chainmails bekinis in the middle ages had they been allowed to have fought. You just need to look at the desktop wallpaper of gamers/net admins and the like to see what they think of women. I haven't yet seen asysadmins desktop that doesn't have a picture of woman wearing a bikini while shooting guns. Nerd desktops are no different than mechanics wall calendars. These are the people making and playing the games, it's no wonder that the women in the game look like they do...

    1. Dana W

      Re: This didn't need doing...

      Yes. Exactly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This didn't need doing...

      Majority of graphic and game content designers I've known are female. Never seen sexist desktop graphics on a developers screen, perhaps means I've worked in the wrong offices. Never deal with sysadmin machines but I did know a model with her self portrait in bikini pointing gun as her laptop background. Beware of stereotyping.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Risc OS

      I think you might want to socialize with other sysadmins then :-)

      I'll admit; my desktop also features a female figure (Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of Ghost in the Shell / GiTS SAC) but simply her head and left shoulder (so you can see her 'rank' of major) and that's it.

      Not all of us sysadmins want to watch skin shots the whole day long.

  17. LordHighFixer

    ya, its obvious....

    Hot chicks wear less clothes. Sure it's obvious to everyone here, because that is all we see. What about the hot chick who don't. That might make for better if less interesting research.

    As to all the other comments, sadville is not sadville any longer and has not been for a while, as all the people who thought it is/was have left. Those of us who remain thank you for leaving, please do not return.

    Neither I nor my wife is fat or ugly, or socially repressed. We do however live about 75km from the nearest population center. We spend way too much time and money in SL, but it beats the hell out of STD's, DUI's, urban violence, not to mention the price of a night out on the town.

    Also think about this, you will probably never be able to convince your wife, or another willing partner to participate with you in that particular fetish that you won't admit to having in RL, but in SL she just might and finding another willing partner that you will never have to see again is a no-brainer.

    Secondlife, only open minds need apply.

    you may now apply the vitriol

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ya, its obvious....

      "you will probably never be able to convince your wife, or another willing partner to participate with you in that particular fetish that you won't admit to having in RL, but in SL she just might and finding another willing partner that you will never have to see again is a no-brainer."

      And you use this as proof that it's not sadville? sheesh.

  18. Gordo Rex

    Stop the Presses! New Research!

    I just realized that when I was a young 'un, my sister's Barbie dolls spent much more time nekkid than her Ken dolls. I think that this was due to deep sociological and psychological factors that will be of the utmost importance to the future of humanity in the design of Barbarella-type spacesuits.

    Where's my cash?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Stop the Presses! New Research!

      Yes, but enquiring minds would like to know which of you was imposing the nekkidness on the dolls, you or your sister?

      1. Gordo Rex

        Re: Stop the Presses! New Research!

        Barbie had boobies!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Second Life?

    Is that like the anime version of sedentary death

    Perhaps I will jadedly log into a nakedness much site...yawn, scratch arse, make coffee and then wander what else is on.

    Change to designing stair case, instead of looking at more boring naked women.

  20. Mike Flugennock

    Reminds me of an old folk saying...

    "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

    That is all.

  21. Dana W

    Gosh, I wonder why.

    A: Far too many of the virtual "women" are teenaged BOYS. And B: In most games its hard to FIND female clothing that actually allows your character to be fully clothed , and generally the games don't let you use the male clothing.

    Till Warcraft "for example" started with transmog, trying not to look like a hooker with a sword was just about impossible outside of Northrend. And Sadville is largely a fetish club.

    During the time I spent there a few years back I generally wore Jeans, boots, a tank top, and a denim Jacket "Pretty much what I wear in real life". And one of the reasons I got bored with it and left was I got tired of explaining over and over why I actually wanted to dress like a normal person. People kept mailing me hooker wear and "shudder" stick on genitals so I could enjoy the "fun".

    1. LordHighFixer

      Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

      "A: Far too many of the virtual "women" are teenaged BOYS."

      Possibly in WOW, or other online games, but for SL a majority of the players are adults, with the greatest majority being middle aged.

      " And Sadville is largely a fetish club."

      Well, possibly this is true, but since most of the representations of RL fetishes have been moved to zindra (aka perversion island) this is no longer a prevailing theme in SL. It does cater very well to my fetish of wearing a tux and listening to classic rock. I sure it would cater to your fetish of wearing jeans and a tank top.

      " People kept mailing me hooker wear and "shudder" stick on genitals so I could enjoy the "fun"."

      Unless you look like a n00b, these days nobody will be that helpful. And anyone with freebie genitals would be laughed out of most of the "fetish" areas. All that anyone I have run into in SL has ever asked of me was respect, and in turn that is what ask of them, and what I offer.

      Maybe you should give it another try. But be warned, you may get bored, it is, after all, what you make it. ;)

      1. Dana W

        Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

        Its not my "fetish" its my RL wardrobe. About 95% of it to be accurate. If you can't tell the difference between fetish gear and clothing, you may have issues.

        As to the n00b comment, yes, the people who are jerks to people for not having the best and trendiest in real $$$ skins make it hell on people who wanted to explore or maybe learn to build. I have an old "birth date" and got very tired being expected to "keep up with the Joneses" because I'd been there a while. Isn't there enough of this in the REAL world? Now you have to be trendy enough for fantasy land?

        And I'd never BE anyplace with virtual willy waving to start with. SL started with such promise, it turned into a 3D display of the net's worst excesses, I went back last year actually. The one sim I loved, the one that didn't have the ambiance of a nasty club, or the charm of a porn theater had to close. This is a good example of what it could have been, and sadly is no more.

        Don't dump it on me, I had high hopes, SL took the low road,

        1. LordHighFixer

          Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

          One persons fetish wear is another persons normal everyday clothing, it is not my place to judge either way, no matter what I actually think of it.

          Yes, that is a problem with SL, you skin is only as thick as your RL skin and the need to bow to peer pressure is just as prevalent in SL as it is in RL. Nice that those mute, ban, and de-render functions exist. Makes jerks disappear like they were not even there. I actually know a couple of people who refuse to even put on a free skin and shape and are still in the version 1 skin. Strange, but it is their choice. I guess you must just have bad luck because I have not experienced the jerks you speak of. (I don't doubt they exist however).

          It is truly sad that a number of the better sims have had to close, but there is no government funding for parks and "nice places" and the economy hit a number of people hard. The luxury that is SL was no longer an option for a number of people, and if you can't pay for it out of your own pocket, and it can't make money, then it unfortunately goes away. I was going thru my landmarks and have found that most of the places I knew of when I first entered SL are no more. That is the sad in sadville. That being said there are still many wonderful places in SL to spend time.

          I do not mean to dump on you. But not everyone in SL are the type of people you complain about. Also, from what I understand the SIM you loved exists in a backup copy. Why don't you just buy a blank SIM and have it restored. SL is a function of the people in it, if all the positive influncers like you leave, then all that is left is the negative. Help make it what you want it to be.

          1. Dana W

            Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

            I can't afford that kind of money. I'd love to see it come back. but at $700 a month, my laptop and internet all the luxury I can afford these days.

          2. Jesrad

            Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

            "there is no government funding for parks and 'nice places' "

            Actually there is, LL has a number of their own regions integrated in every continent, and most of it is parks and nice meeting places, and free building zones. There is in particular the vast sea that joins the eastern continents, for one. Little islands, a gorgeous lighthouse, and lots of ocean, all of it public access and use.

            But your underlying point remains true: given the high price of acreage in SL there's little incentive for players to just have a lot of nice-looking land that is not put to commercial use. LL mitigated this a tiny bit but introducing quarter-price regions, but those just went to low-cost demand instead of feeding any need for more natural or just-for-the-beauty-of-it options.

            There is simply too little granularity, because of the fixed 256x256m size of regions and hardcoded prim/surface values... which makes little sense, given how size of land and constructions is completely arbitrary beyond the absolute number of objects. There is no technical obstacle to making 32+ km sized single regions that have a very low prim count limit, and sharding those by the dozen on a single server. But they won't do it, somehow.

            Another thing sorely missing from SL is that it's not making use of sunken-cost processing power, bandwidth and storage space: namely, that of the player base. Give them an option to allocate some of their already paid-for computer-hold, and they'll happily convert it to more virtual acreage. There are many distributed algorithms and existing, proven protocols, that could make it possible for the players themselves to host part of the Grid. The virtual reality Solipsis concept goes as far as having no central server at all, hosting its worlds entirely on the cloud-ified computers of the users themselves.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

          Great video. Sam Lowry is a great machinamist in SL but if you think the Lost Gardens was the only sim worth visiting you are sadly mistaken.

          Sam has made many videos showcasing the talented designers in SL. And yes, there are many talented designers and creators there.

          SL is not a failure. It's been going over 8 years as on open platform, 10 years since the first beta was opened to users.One of the features is that the map/landscape changes from day to day with new creative works. It can have bad elements for sure, but it can also have wonderfully creative and inspiring works of art.

  22. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    All the above and...

    The 'research' is incomplete. They should have also done a one-to-one comparison with real life people, and also with shop-front manikins.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I expected at least one comment on the quality of PLoP 1 by now, reminds me of a saying in a lab I worked at...

    "should this work be classified?"

    "just throw it at Elsevier, it'll never get read by anyone who matters"

    1. LordHighFixer

      Re: huh...

      I actually read the whole study. Interesting, but useless.

  24. Tikimon

    Don't forget a basic Male-Female difference...

    Remember that men are turned on by visual sexuality much more than women. In the real world, Nude Women are simply looked at more than Nude Men. Note the lopsided balance of nude men (some) vs women (BEEELIONS) in porn.

    Keeping that in mind, one would expect males to always be more dressed, since the Average Audience is less interested in looking at them. Hot studly male avatars are simply going to get less attention than hot women, so why play as the also-ran?

    FYI, I have a female alt in Second Life. Sometimes she's a hot babe in a slinky dress, sometimes a scary-looking cyborg. I'm happily straight but it's fun to explore strangers' reactions when they think I'm a female. See things from the other gender's perspective, yanno.

  25. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    More researchers with a breast fixation

    > They measured the physical attractiveness of the Second Life avatars by measuring the waist-chest ratios for females

    Not all blokes measure attractiveness by choosing the bird with the biggest Bulgarian AirBags.

    I think these guys should get out more.

    1. Fatman

      Re: ...choosing the bird with the biggest Bulgarian AirBags

      I once dated a girl with some really large ones, and to say that they often got in the way is an understatement. I prefer a woman that isn't "top heavy" - if you know what I mean.

      Hey el Reg, bring back the Bulgarian Air Bags icon.

      1. illiad

        Re: ...choosing the bird with the biggest Bulgarian AirBags

        man, if they get in the way, they are silicon... REAL big boobs are much softer, and the girl is more used to controlling them in a good sexy bra...

        or you just need more practice..

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pretty disappointing

    I clicked on this thinking this was actual research on actual people in actual situations. Not video game nonsense.

    It could have been provocative, shocking, or even thought-provoking.

    e.g.: Imagine this type of introduction: "If we take it as axiomatic that men and women are equal in modern society, then how do we categorize differences between men and women showing more or less skin in identical situations?"

    Then let's not talk about emotionally charged, and highly eroticized differences (like bare chests on the beach), but subtler ones, which may be easier to consider rationally (like open-toed shoes in the workplace).

    That'd be worth a read.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just exhibitionists

    The real deal nude woman online are just exhibitionists and the guys love it.

  28. Rombizio

    With my fucking dollars???


  29. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Some interesting research to be done

    In discussions with a few psychology experts, there appears to be some interesting dynamics involved with nudity and attraction. Men like looking at (attractive) naked women. Women like looking at (attractive) naked men. Women also like looking at other women. Men, however, fall into two groups. For most of us, there is a built-in 'threat response' involved with the view of a naked man. This has been demonstrated by fMRIs in several studies. The second (smaller) group of men lack this threat response and may also find another naked man attractive. This group may correspond with Kinsey's research showing a (startlingly) significant minority of men that have some level of attraction towards other men. Even those that identified themselves as straight. Kinsey found this to be about 35%.

    From the point of view of 'acceptable' naked images (avatars, game figures, etc.) it would seem that, given an unknown audience, the naked female form offers the least chance of triggering a negative subliminal response. With naked male figures, that possibility increases.

    The interesting research would be to strap a cross section of the population into an fMRI and compare their responses to their answers to Kinsey's survey and other issues of sexual identity. It may turn out that the lack of this threat response trigger is genetic. And it might be a necessary, although not sufficient condition for bisexuality or homosexuality. It might also be tough to do, as many gays don't like being poked and prodded (scientifically, that is) as if they suffer from a disease.

  30. Montreal Sean

    My hard earned tax dollars at work.

    I think I want a refund.

  31. SusanY

    I think there are some interesting things that could be done with virtual reality in psychology research, but this particular paper strikes me as really problematic.

    Different online games (or communities, if you want to be pedantic and say SL isn't a game) can have different cultural norms about what's acceptable behaviour. Second Life, in particular, tends to be more tolerant of nudity, open displays of sexuality, and unconventional sexuality (e.g. BDSM, furries...) than other online environments. Indeed, it's notorious for this. There's an obvious self-selection bias: the people who continue to hang around in Second Life are mostly the kind of people who enjoy the kind of things that go on in Second Life.

    I really don't think you can generalise from Second Life to other online games, much less the real world. The result in the paper is just about a particular subculture.

    (It might have been interesting to compare some of the "nudist beach" sims in SL --- I'd conjecture you'ld find a large number of gay men who enjoy looking at naked men --- which would skew your starts more towards male nudity, The point of the comparison being that the "gay bar" subculture has way more male nudity that the "star wars RPG subculture", with neither of them necessarily being typical of any wider group).

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Many Men Online Role-playing Girls.. ;-)

  33. Jesrad

    The whole study is worthless.

    Men wear more clothing online because women judge their social worth rather than their sexual attractivity. Better clothes makes a man more attractive to the ladies. In virtual worlds, the physical body is arbitrary and everyone can be a Ken doll. The difference then has to express itself somehow, and often it does so through the wardrobe and gadgets show.

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