Australia's Minister For Women Links Video Games With Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence

Most of the chatter from Canberra has been around a new $101 million package to tackle domestic violence and the publication of new statistics about attitudes towards domestic violence. But in a radio interview with 2GB's Ben Fordham, Australia's Federal Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, indicated that video games could also have a role to part in negative attitudes towards domestic violence.

The seven minute discussion, which has been made available on 2GB's website, begins by discussing the recently announced $101 million package to tackle domestic violence. The package is designed to improve frontline support services and the practical safety of women threatened by domestic violence, but the media blitz was also used as an opportunity to increase awareness about the attitudes of Australians that make domestic violence increasingly common.

"One in four young men believe that hitting a woman is a sign of strength. One in three young Australians believe it's OK to slap a woman if you've had a few drinks," the minister said. It's believed that the minister was quoting figures from VicHealth's Young Australians' Attitudes to Violence against Women survey released today, which surveyed 1923 Australians between the ages of 16 and 24 about their views on domestic violence.

Ben Fordham then quizzed the minister about values that are being instilled into Australian youths. "It was drilled into us by our dad, very early on from the moment we could understand anything he was saying, that boys don't hit girls," Fordham said. "Have we dropped off in teaching young boys this stuff?"

"I think it's not so much that we've dropped off, I think unfortunately society is exposed to so many different things these days," Cash replied. The minister then took exception with Grand Theft Auto and queried the potential for video games to influence the attitudes of Australian youths in ways that would foster domestic violence.

Linking Video Games To Domestic Violence

"I personally have a huge problem with the types of video games that young people are able to play. Grand Theft Auto is a perfect example of a video game that is exceptionally violent and yet it's something that young kids put on their Christmas wish list. So I think there are so many other influences now that we have to have a really, really good look at but I think the easiest way to sum it up is what the Prime Minister said today: disrespecting women is un-Australian, that's it."

Fordham returned to video games with his final question, asking the minister how much she was worried about games that were "played through a point of view" — "it's actually you running around and grabbing people and belting people with planks of wood, and shooting people and bashing women and all the other stuff that can go on in video games, and let alone the other games where you're shooting to kill and trying to kill as many people in a short space of time, how much does that worry you," he asked.

Cash replied by saying she was deeply worried, saying that the level of violence in games can desensitise players.

"And so you almost merge what is a computer game with reality," the minister responded. "I can disrespect a woman online and then you make that translation to, well I can disrespect a woman in life too because I no longer know what that line is. Ben I have a huge problem with video games, I don't believe I'm alone and I don't believe that I'm a prude."

The Influence Of Video Games On Children

"Video games are a lot of fun but video games that actively encourage a lot of young boys, and young girls, to make choices in how they treat a person, to bash them, to rape them, that is totally unacceptable and I do believe, and I think the Prime Minister himself has signalled, we as a government do need to have a look at this and understand the impact that these video games are having on our youth and in particular in them ultimately having those views that disrespect — and it's not just women, it'll be disrespecting men here as well. We need to get rid of that, quite frankly, from society."

The full survey, which was provided to Kotaku Australia by the department, only mentions video games once across its 90 pages. It features in the fourth section of the report, titled "Context for young peoples' attitudes — a look at the literature", and is contextualised by a sub-section about the impact that limited personal experience can have on the attitudes of younger people.

"Limited personal experience may also mean that young people are more affected by gendered media culture especially marketed at the young, such as music videos and video games that have been found to reproduce gender stereotypes (Dill & Thill 2007; Dunlop 2007) and, according to some research, to increase young viewers' tolerance of violence against women (Kaestle et al 2007)," the report says.

That research comes from a paper entitled "Music videos, pro wrestling and acceptance of date rape among middle school males and females: an exploratory analysis", which was printed in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


    Here we go again.

      Signed in to say those EXACT words. Beat me to it

        Yep. Me too. "Politician talks about something she knows very little about. News at 11."

      Better get Kotaku to tell them it only makes us all misogynists.....

      I could see this coming from a mile away. When linked to violence you and the rest of the gaming journalists come out swinging. But for over a year you've been telling us we're dirty, basement dwelling creeps who hate women.... AND YOU ACT SURPRISED WHEN A POLITICIAN SAYS THIS SHIT???

      But you reap what you sow, I can sit back and laugh. Are you going in to bat for "Gamers" now Kotaku?

      Love the moderation too guys.... Over a month for not voting for the Greens.... Awesome stuff.

      Last edited 24/09/15 10:23 pm

        And the usual suck holes using the down vote system instead of forming an argued disagreement.

          I think the reason you have had no replies is that your comment makes little sense.

            Agreed. Reads more like a drunken rant.

              I have no idea how you get that out of an impartial article that's 90% quotes without a stated opinion, then again it also took a good 4 tries to figure out what was trying to be said as well haha.

                geth is probably talking about mypetmonkey's post, not the article itself.

          Everyone is sick of arguing with you and your bullshit. Debating you only gives your reactionary anger credence.

          It's difficult to form an argued disagreement when as far as I can tell you haven't argued anything, just made a bunch of unbacked assertions.

          Looking at your original post, I can't really see any argument at all. The only thing you clearly say is that Kotaku disagrees with the link between games and violence, and apparently you think Kotaku thinks gamers are "dirty, basement dwelling creeps who hate women" - an assertion I haven't particularly noticed.

          There are definitely misogynistic games around (GTA V, and 90% of Japanese eroge for example). I would argue that most games these days are fundamentally genderless indie efforts, but it's the AAA games that get all the press and all the attention, and as a group they don't have a particularly good track record. The AAA games rarely go out of their way to be misogynistic,; they just treat women as objects without making a particular big deal out of it. The armor models in pretty much any shooter or RPG are a prime example.

          I haven't downvoted you, but it was really tempting.

            Don't know where you get the idea that GTA V is "definitely misogynistic", but the rest of your post seems reasonable.

              I'll admit I only played the beginning of GTA V, but I'd thought the misogynism in it was accepted by most people; the main characters are male, and the main interactions with women are pretty negative (hookers and...?).

              That said, I haven't played very far into it, so maybe I'm just taking the (negative) hype too seriously.

                The thing is, I'm not sure that having three male protags innately makes the game misogynistic.

                Most of the characters within the game, regardless of gender, are some stereotype of pretty much any or many the cultures that you may see in LA. There are crazy bitches and crazy dudes, from all classes and races. I wouldn't argue that it's misogynistic any more than it is bigoted about literally any other group, religious, political... That's kind of the point of the satire, to show you how insane all of the perspectives are.

                It is a satirical environment.

          Why should anybody put forward an "argued disagreement" (by which I assume you mean a justified argument?) when you won't do the same with your own opinions? I'm getting a bit tired of seeing your baseless assertion which you've made across multiple articles that your posts don't get approved due to your political preferences as well.

          "Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing. It’s just bibble-babble. It’s like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks." - Harlan Ellison

        That's Kotaku America. The Australian editors have seemed to stay right out of it until now. In fact, I think Alex Walker has tried to stay impartial and has tried to just tell us all the facts.
        We can't help but get defensive when someone says something negative about a hobby that we love. I react to same way when someone says something bad about cosplay.
        Gaming culture does have some issues when it comes to women, stuff that we need to work together to get through. It's the culture that is the problem, rather than the games themselves. It's not something that the government can try and fix with just blanket bans and such.

        Mypetmonkey, you are allowed to disagree, but when you come across as a bit of an arse (which is the tone I'm getting from what you've written), people are going to down vote you.

        You're spot on with this mate. The mainstream media (powered by gaming media) has been running a narrative about gamers being misogynists based on absolutely no evidence. Poor journalism may come back to bit us all in this case.

          Not that anyone wants to admit it else wise face their hypocrisy. Publish article upon article about games making people sexist and mysoginsts.... And then act surprised when the government of the day picks up on that.... Then censor anyone that points out the possible cause of the governments sources...

        Thank you for illustrating that the primary cause of domestic violence is substance abuse combined with mental illness.

        Waifu pillows don't count for honeymoons

          Enjoy your hand cupcakes.

          Last edited 27/09/15 8:46 pm

            I don't think you even know what that means.

              Really Burnside? That's all you have? Too busy thinking up bogus exaggerated stats like 11 out of every 5 women are victims of domestic violence because of the portrayal of boobs in video games or something?

                You know, there's two kinds of people in this world. Those who take domestic violence issues seriously and those with a high probability of engaging in them one day. Here's hoping you're the outlier in that second set, hey?

                Last edited 01/10/15 8:00 pm

      And in other news a teacher in Oklahoma brands a young boy as evil for writing with his left hand.

    I would get upset but lets be honest, she did say "I personally...". I'm not gonna grab my pitchfork against someone who has a personal belief on the matter. If the government ever tried to stir up some shit based on reports and research that don't have merit. Then Ill light my torch.

    But I'm assuming she is a Mum and if she doesn't want to let her kids play GTAV then she is with us on that, because No Children should be playing GTAV.

    I think its possible to educate them on our stance and we do have representetives in that field when they try and talk about something they haven't a basis in information on but No. I'm not gonna butcher someone on a personal belief, thats the society will live in, not everyone is gonna agree with you.

      That's the thing though.. you are talking about a person in a unique position of power - an elected official. Saying anything even as an opinion still has repercussions. Especially when she starts saying games that encourage "young boys and girls" to "murder and rape".

      I have yet to see a PG rated game tackle "murder" and on that point any game outside of the new MA15+ and R18+ ratings even touch on the matter of sex.. let alone "rape" in Australia since that stuff is outright banned here. It puts forward a false premise of games are for kids. we should have all grown up past that.. but here we go again recycling the false premise of games = for children.

      At this point I'm it's just the usual stuff for me... I'm waiting on the nearly approaching generational shift when we get a new media and then folks who grew up on video games can then continue to give crap at the next generations "new thing" =P

        Don't worry, VR-based social media is on its way.

          Can you imagine how the ACL will freak out over that?! Either they have pitchforks ready to go, or they're going to have some really crafty fellow selling them a seat closer to their god, and his majesty, through VR.

            VR porn is coming if it isn't out there already. They always jump into new tech head first.

        It puts forward a false premise of games are for kids. we should have all grown up past that.. but here we go again recycling the false premise of games = for children.

        I think we're stuck with this until the baby boomer generation are out of the way. Once gen X and gen Y - who have grown up playing video games - are in their 50's we'll be ready to move on.

          Michaelia Cash is Generation X. She was 10 when the first console games came out. I'm 8 years older than her and I play video games even though I was an adult when I got my first gaming console. But I'm unusual - the fact is, most adults stop playing video games when they get a full time job and/or kids. That's the case with the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y, and it will continue to be the case.

      Problem is she is a politician. She is employed by us to represent OUR views - not give us her own personal beliefs.

      I'd agree with you if it weren't for the fact that that person is letting their ill-informed, incorrect beliefs (and yes, beliefs can be incorrect) make decisions which might negatively affect me.

      When you're in a position of power where your decisions have impact on society as a whole, you have an obligation to the people affected by your decisions to make sure they're well-informed, not just well-intentioned.

      The drive of good intentions doesn't do any of us any good when ignorance is doing the steering.

      Last edited 25/09/15 12:26 pm

    If only there was some sort of system, that rates games based on their content, and categorises them into easy to understand groups that can determine which age group it is appropriate for.

    But as far as i know, this doesn't exist, so i guess the logical step is banning these games so kids can't buy them.

    Last edited 24/09/15 6:20 pm

      We should totally get something like that!

      If only that were the case surely the minister would be well across it and be able to promote parents to use these, let's call them ratings for now, to make sure their kids are playing games appropriate to their ages.

      If only.

        Yes, some sort of... Office of Film and Literature Classification! we could shorten it to the OFLC!!

          Just a side note, wasn't the OFLC restructured and named the Australian Classification Board almost a decade ago?

          I know they still use the old branding out of sheer bloody laziness but for some reason I'm certain that the OFLC technically doesn't exist anymore and has been replaced.

          Last edited 25/09/15 9:04 am

      Oh shit dude you beat me to the punch*!
      (*Sorry, I know that's awful)!

      EXACTLY. Any journalist could tear her argument apart simply by asking...

      "Minister, does this mean you you are proposing a focused campaign about our rating classification system aimed at educating parents on the truth behind MA-rated video games, so we can curb child access to MA-rated video games and as a result help reduce the opinions some young adults have towards this acceptable domestic violence?"

    2GB — that bastion of equality in social commentary...

      Which is a bit ironic, considering 2GB's Ray Hadley was charged with beating on his wife a few years ago and the station practically turned a blind eye to it.

    I sort of feel bad for her, knowing that in the next hour she's gonna have hundreds of angry pre-pubescent gamer kids that want to tear her to shreds for taking their games away.

    That said, it seems like she's completely failed to recognise that there is a ratings system in place that's supposed to stop games like GTA falling into the hands of kids, and it's being routinely ignored by parents and in some cases games retailers. There's no rhyme or reason for blaming the games.

    Last edited 24/09/15 6:26 pm

    So she's saying that a game which is rated 18+ and which it is a criminal offense to provide to a minor might have a negative effect on children's behavior?

    Leaving aside the lack of actual evidence that that's actually the case, Isn't that why it's rated 18+?

      Admittedly, the survey cited classifies the surveyed 'young people' as 16 to 24, so it's not really covered by the R18+ thing for a majority of respondents.

        You actually think that the politician read the academic paper she's pontificating on?

          HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAaaaaaa...

          ...Good point.

            Clearly our war should be on reality TV I blame the networks

              You know if there was better TV programs on in the early evening less video games would be played!

                Peppa Pig can only play for so many hours a day.

        Gotcha. So we need to introuce an R25+ classification?

    What is this game where I can supposedly rape someone ? Mario maker ?

      I wondered that too then I realised she might be referring to the "rape mod" for GTA5.

        Still isn't legally available to children.

        Last edited 24/09/15 8:05 pm

      According to Game Grumps that's what Ross is currently doing.

    Instead kids should all join the local footy club where attitudes towards women are much better than playing a spooky vidya game

      I like this idea. We'll just pay everyone aged 16-24 to play football, at which point the problem goes away because come on, they were just sluts and it really is a matter to be dealt with internally at the club rather than ruining some poor kids career.

        The footy ball is the key to solving all of team australias problems, ice, boats, economy and last but not least bullying. Its been proven through our history that large groups of men playing the footy ball are the key to optimum physical and mental well being for all aussies including gamers. I actually have nothing against sport or football but its criminally overlooked as a breeding ground for shit cultute and overfunded. How about funding kids to learn music, coding, cooking?

          I played football and I'm sitting in the Maldives on my honeymoon, I'd never lay an finger in anger against a woman. I'd wager more people play football than games. It's just that the footballers become minor celebrities.

          It's a really dumb argument to say that playing football will make you beat up a woman. About as rational as saying video games will.

          If you can show me a "local footy club" that promotes domestic violence I'd be surprised.

          EDIT: Go down to your local football club. You will find that women are the backbone of many organisations. Maybe then you will realise you wield the same ignorance as Cash. I can't believe your comment has as many up votes as it did.... Especially from a site that seems to have a massive hard on for MMA and Ultimate Fighting where they beat the living shit out of human beings like rabid animals.

          Last edited 24/09/15 10:05 pm

            I never said playing football will make you beat up a woman or girl. I said the culture is often overlooked as a breeding ground for shit behaviour. I dont care about your honeymoon. I also think sports in general are great but are the most overfunded overlooked area of recreation. I used to train in muay thai and there were a lot of girls that did too. I've been to a few football clubs and yeah susie sells pies and maggie understands the game better than bruce but that doesnt change the shit attitudes towards PEOPLE that arent apart of that sporting culture, women or not. Im sure some footy clubs are absolute leaders in personality and progressive culture. I've yet to see one, my nephews play and they're between 9-12, some of the teams they play against are disgusting and at such a young age already have an elitist attitude, more my oldest nephew who is 12. I never said any club promotes domestic violence. Its the culture of being in an all male team that CAN manifest itself into a shared nasty attitude. Im sure your club is great, im also sure more people play football than games here too. Its an overlooked overfunded thing in my opinion. Also i cant say ill be going anywhere near any football grounds as that is a SHIT house idea and I couldn't fucking care less to check for myself lmao.

            Also i dont think the dribble I put out should be upvoted BUT it probably shows despite the idiotic way I share my opinion, there is some truth and value in saying football is overlooked as a source of shit culture. Go and do something fun with your wife instead of trying to argue with someone who still laughs at the word poo.

              Nope sorry but you're just scapegoating....

              You can't tie football anymore than video games. You could find equal number of offenders in botanists I'd presume.

              Scapegoating isn't the answer to DV. It just makes people feel better if they can somehow feel like they've rationalised it.

              She's napping and I'm on the deck of the bungalow. I can be pretty blunt but sometimes I just have to call out what I don't see true. And the minibar is empty....

              Last edited 24/09/15 10:31 pm

                Leave botanists out of this, I kind of agree I guess that's a fair point but football and sports in general is heralded as a lot of things it isnt. Its seen as an answer to so many problems. A lot of people that play games play alone. A lot of people that play games don't have a club or a family behind them. A lot of sick people enjoy games, these aren't packs of men or boys. I honestly believe your football history is filled with good characters and a respectful progressive culture but that's what keeps it from getting any blame when it comes to DV. It wasn't the kids that played games in high school beating people up, it was the footy boiz, it wasnt just my school or area either. Are you Eddie Maguire?

                Wow. What denial. Absolute garbage, do some research instead of telling people to "go to a footy club". Played AFL and basketball for many years, seen some horrendous things. Turning your head and putting in the sand with a flimsy lie as an excuse is the epitome of cowardice. Sad thing is you'll never know how much you're pretending doesn't exist.

                  Do some research...... But provide absolutely none... Well played.

                  It's the root cause of domestic violence is it then Turtle? You must then accept that video games have equal responsibility based on that ground breaking research.

                  "It's not video games you're scapegoating! Look over there it's footballs fault!"

            The point I suspect that folks are trying to make is that there have been a few very high-profile cases of unacceptable behaviour in football which have been given free passes due to it as a passtime being a cultural icon, as opposed to video games which get no such pass at all.

              Haha.. finally someone got the point =P

              This is not a slag on footy, sports, etc. It's a slag at how society is more than happy to "look the other way" when it comes to activities which can be considered "healthy/popular/etc"

    Hey, I've got an idea as to what's causing the current swathe of domestic violence across the country:


    It's everywhere, and an oft too common denominator in these horrible abuse stories.

    NOT video games.

    Jesus, parliament. Reassess your fucking perspective.

      Ice, alcohol, low employment numbers leading to a lot of issues such as substance abuse etc etc etc. It's all part and parcel. But videogames are an easy sacrificial lamb...

        As long as they don't start pointing fingers at animal sacrifice. Man, I friggin LOVE that shit!

        ... Of course, I'm kidding.

      Meth is really not nearly as problematic as the constant bombardment of alcohol.

        Meth is a lot worse than alcohol. Ecstasy might not be, but meth definitely is.

          How many meth users do you know? Now how many drinkers do you know?

            Plenty of both. I've never known anyone to die from meth (which I have alcohol and downers), but meth users are a lot worse when it comes to doing stupid shit (like beating somebody senseless) than alcohol is.

      I can say first hand that it can turn even the strongest pacifist into an extremely violent and unpredictable animal.

    Two things, 1. Violent media only desensitizes individuals to other violent media, I have stabbed hundreds of people in video games but if I were to see a stabbing IRL I would freak the fuck out. 2. Where do these people keep finding the games with rape in them.

      I used to work as a Wardsman at the Mater Hospital. In my time there:

      1. I saw a gunshot victim. It was only the aftermath, but I did get grossed out. I had no idea 'deep blood' was bright red in colour, while your surface blood was different. THAT freaked me the fuck out. Seeing two different kinds of blood mixed, that was bizarre. I'd never even heard of it before.

      2. I saw a few stabbing victims in ICU and glassing victims. Manhunt and GTA never prepared me for that. Seeing the way flesh is torn and cut? You never see that in games, you never see the tearing, the swelling, the infection that can happen even in the immediate hours. It's something you never get prepared for. You cannot be desensitized for that by a videogame, I don't care what anyone says, I've seen it first hand, been involved with it.

      3. I saw a dead child. The day I saw that, I knew I wasn't strong enough for that. I quit the job that day. Don't know what he died from, no idea, but that wrecked me.

      I was a seriously avid gamer even then in 1998 and gaming never prepared me for any of that. No way it could then, no way it could now.

      So have an upvote, because we're in avid agreeance.

      Last edited 25/09/15 2:07 am

    “It’s actually you running around and grabbing pepole and belting people with blanks of wood and shooting people and bashing women and all the other stuff that can go on in video games, and let alone the other games where you’re shooting to kill and trying to kill as many people in a short space of time, how much does that worry you,”

    Let me fix this for you...

    What you mean is:

    "I'm going to point out a few things you can legitimately do in GTA, fair enough, then selectively point out you can attack women... but forget you can kill men in it too just as equally. Because that wouldn't be news worthy..."

      the big picture is irrelevant when im offended by the smallest parts. just because the player can do these things, doesn't mean that's what the whole game is about. there is also clear repercussions of the players actions. saying gta is about domestic violence and violence against women is like saying minecraft is only about building giant cocks, or news programs are only about war and death.

        You mean Minecraft isn't only about building giant cocks?

        Way to shatter the illusion man!

    All culture & media (including ads, movies, games, books, sportspeople, art, stand up commediens, music etc ) plays a role in influencing attitudes but Minister for Women Michaela Cash way over-simplifies the link here.

    Anyone who thinks video games are feeding the existing and old culture of domestic violence ought to look at their fucking football teams and clubs. Sports is the biggest hole of stupidity.

    Last edited 24/09/15 9:32 pm

      You were going so well until you dragged her sex life into something that it has no fucking standing in and accused her of truly stupid bullshit.

        I know haha just feeling a bit silly

          Bit tasteless, might wanna edit that out

            I didnt mean it in a negative manner. I find that kind of talk distasteful myself but I meant it as a joke, a bad joke. There is nothing wrong with rooting a football team though!

        Also its okay to root a footy team, its not stupid bullshit. Its kind of cool. I definitely should have left that out though. Sozi

    that young kids put on their Christmas wish list....check the rating and maybe NOT buy it for people that can't differentiate what is acceptable between a video game and real life?
    1 in 3 young Australians believe it’s OK to slap a woman if you’ve had a few drinks
    And how do they feel about violence to other men? Do they need to be drunk to do this? Or do they think this is socially acceptable?
    Violence is violence is violence.
    Blaming the media or video games or any other form of "set and forget parenting" is a cop out - I sure as hell won't be using GTA 10 as an excuse if my 3 y.o son attacks someone (regardless of sex) in the future; that's a lack of values and respect for other people taught by his parents and followed up by him.

    Last edited 24/09/15 6:49 pm

      That 1 in 3 number she used was based on a poll of 2000 Victorian men under the age of 27. I remember it because I saw it raised several time on ABC News 24 today. Interesting how it now becomes all Australians.

        The ABS reports on the demographics on offenders of intent to cause harm show rates of men being four times as violent as women, and the age range of 15-29 accounting for a greater representation than all of the other age groups combined, with most of that in the 15-24 range...

        ...surprising absolutely no-one who has ever known anything about human nature for the last thousand years. It's almost as if people are somehow suddenly baffled by the well-known paradigm of 'angry young men'.

        Last edited 25/09/15 12:29 pm

    “1 in 4 young men believe that hitting a woman is a sign of strength. 1 in 3 young Australians believe it’s OK to slap a woman if you’ve had a few drinks,” the minister said.

    I find this extremely hard to believe. I literally don't know anyone who would agree with it.

      Absolutely. Where did they pull that number from?

        From less than 2000 young people in some survey according to the article. 2000 (probably specifically selected) people is now representative of >21m apparently...

          It seems to be good enough for the anti-liberal political surveys.

          25% of 0.0000001 of the population is a reliable statistic dont you know!

          With a unbiased random sample, you can still get meaningful statistics. For the figures listed, you'd expect about a 2% error margin.

          Of course, this does require that the sample is unbiased. If the respondents were self selected (e.g. as in an Internet poll), it is probably biased. If all the respondents were from a single city or suburb, it probably won't be representative of the whole country, etc.

          Now I am also find those numbers alarmingly high, so should probably read up on the report. I would also expect a survey like this to underestimate the numbers, since not all arseholes who think it is okay to hit women are going to tell a stranger that they'd do so.

      Where are these people? Cause out of my 50 or so frequently contacted friends, none of them would hit a woman, let alone to feel big about themselves.

    It's probably already been said but i just wanna say, completely away from the whole video game part, but people dont seem to realise its not just women being beaten in domestic violence, they keep going all on about women getting attacked by guys, but no cares asks about the guys that get attacked, no one notices that guys get attacked, it's always the guys doing the wrong.

      Welcome to being a man in Australia where you're regularly singled out for perpetrating every evil that anyone can imagine - if you're a white man even better!

      But it's alright because apparently society affords men every advantage in life!

        I hope you're not a white man... Because if you are, remember that you're not allowed to comment or have an opinion on anything at all anymore.

        At least that's what the majority of internet screaming leads me to believe these days...

        Last edited 25/09/15 6:54 am

      While I don't disagree with you entirely, I think you're missing the point a little. Try not to get distracted by the bullshit answers skirting MRA rhetoric.

      I agree in that domestic violence is not just males enacting it on female victims. It's not just heterosexual. It's not just between romantic partners. It's not just physical violence. However, it is a very large proportion of it. I'll agree that the language is sexist in that it assumes male instigators and female victims. The focus also implies that violence in other forms is less troubling. The whole "something something HIT A WOMAN" thing keeps coming up and it's sexist as hell. But I feel like taking issue with that is like wondering why the hospital has put your broken arm low on the priority list when there's been a train crash. Your problem is a real problem, but it's just less severe than the other ones we have right now. Sorry, but it has to wait.

      When you strip the (stupid, baby boomer) sexist language away, we come down to the core problem: People shouldn't be enacting violence on other people. The problem is violence in all forms. But if you have a problem that is (I'm pulling numbers out of the air, here) 40% caused by one singular factor and the remaining 60% is split between a dozen or more, the most effective way to solve the problem is to hit the biggest cause first. Right now the biggest cause of violence in this country is domestic violence. So that's the focus. Within that, the biggest issue is men enacting physical violence on their romantic partners in heterosexual relationships. So that's the focus.

        Was just cruising around on the ABS site and it looks like men make up a bit over 15% of victims of (reported) sexual assault.

        Victims of overall violence, however, are mostly men. (About 2 in every 3 cases, depending on the type of violence.)

        The domestic violence cases are a lot smaller and the data is labeled 'experimental', probably due to classification difficulties. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong.

        That considered, I'm not too sure about your final point there. I think in this particular instance, domestic violence isn't being singled out because it's most prevalent problem, but for emotional/values-based reasons. The same reasons instilled in some of us with gruff male role models who sternly intoned, "You just don't hit women. No matter what," as an inviolate truth.
        (Which personally, I'm fine with. If the majority of male victims are as a result of idiots getting their punch on outside the club, that's probably a less pressing concern than the relatively defenseless being exploited.)

        Last edited 25/09/15 12:41 pm

          This is specifically about domestic violence. That includes some cases of sexual violence, but they may or may not be categorised differently. There are all kinds of overlaps and the data is hard to come by because of the nature of the problem.

          It's difficult to gauge how much domestic violence happens because it doesn't happen outside a pub where everyone can see. Also, the ongoing effects on our social order are a big concern. We know that people from abusive homes are often pretty much powerless to stop it and the underlying cause of most violence is how society teaches men to act.

          I edited that half way through to head off a potential bullshit derail that always comes up when MRA idiots get into a conversation about domestic violence, so my point may have been mixed up a bit. Violence as a whole is the issue and it makes sense to tackle the biggest problem first. The problem that causes the most trouble may not have the highest number of instances, so yeah, targeting domestic violence is probably for outcomes based reasons. It's likely causing the most harm overall, despite (probably) having fewer instances.

          So once we have focused on minimising the most harm in the shortest time, there are a number of bundled issues. Violence against children already has so many checks in place that you can be sure there are people looking out for them. But adults in abusive relationships are not so well catered for. Of the adults in abusive relationships, male on female violence in heterosexual relationships is by far the most pressing concern.

          So that's why the focus is heterosexual men and physical violence against heterosexual women. It's not that there's a huge media conspiracy to demonise heterosexual men and it's not denying that other problems exist. It's simply the highest on the triage list right now.

            I don't think anyone but the most belligerently contrary would try to assert that domestic violence isn't overwhelmingly men attacking women. Anyone who would argue that isn't worth responding to.
            (Edit: And I think the case that's important is that we're dealing with violence, not 'abuse', which would include the emotional/verbal.)

            This is specifically about domestic violence. Yes... My initial thoughts (not so much arguments) were wondering why.
            Right now the biggest cause of violence in this country is domestic violence. So that's the focus.This is the part I'm not entirely sure I believe and couldn't find any evidence for from the stats.

            Violence as a whole is the issue and it makes sense to tackle the biggest problem first. The problem that causes the most trouble may not have the highest number of instances, so yeah, targeting domestic violence is probably for outcomes based reasons. It's likely causing the most harm overall, despite (probably) having fewer instances.

            I think the point is won on 'harm'.

            Besides the initial and obvious victim and the fact that male-on-male violence you'd expect to be typically isolated incidents where domestic would be a long-running pattern of abuse, there's more harm than that.
            My Mum's a teacher. The stories she tells of the kids' diaries about how many of them stay up past midnight playing games in the streetlight or riding bikes where it's quiet out at night, with their siblings, because 'Mum and Dad are fighting again'? It's disturbingly prevalent.
            Dad doesn't have to be hitting the kids to mess them up.

            Last edited 26/09/15 1:16 am

    So wait first games are sexiest, so I make sure to beat and kill as many woman as I do men but now that makes me a wife beater.... how do i win?

    I'd actually like to see a running tally of some games where you can specifically be a wifebeater/woman abuser just so we can actually have some REAL examples to cite rather than broad assumptions. They must exist in some capacity and it would be good to clear up contexts. To be fair GTA is an example that I can almost accept solely because the gameplay proposition is to be a criminal.

      I think it'd be hilariously awesome to see a game made where you can play as a vigilante feminist heroine who tracks down wife-beaters and brutally murders them. It could be in the style of the Hitman games :-)

    “1 in 4 young men believe that hitting a woman is a sign of strength. 1 in 3 young Australians believe it’s OK to slap a woman if you’ve had a few drinks,”

    Who the fuck are these clowns? A sign of strength... srs? This has to be drummed up numbers or a very selective poll. My own anecdotal evidence over the last 20 years (15 - 35) is at total odds to it.

      Dude, this survey was all over ABC News today and it was of 2000 men in Victoria. I like how she's totally not distorting those stats for any sinister agenda...

    Nice to see the responses being a mixed bag of anecdotal "evidence", sweeping generalizations across sporting venues and deflections. Quite the articulate bunch...

      This is a website for (mostly) video games and otaku culture, what did you expect? Relevant facts and statistics? A page full of theses with research and evidence?

      In reality, why bother? The minister certainly couldn't be arsed checking her facts and she's a politician, not some random on a website.

    Seems like an attack on gamers. How about she attack the parents who buy games that aren't intended for their children's age.

    First it was "those fictional books"
    then it was the "rock music"
    then it was "extremely violent movies and TV shows"
    now it's "video games"
    Can we PLEASE get a new entertainment medium that becomes popular enough for it to be the focus of all of societies ills?

      You missed two. The violence that broke out over Pokemon cards and before them marble matches.

      Yes. It's never the people who actually do it. It's the fiction that inspired it.

      This is why we have a strong rating system. If you are over 18 the government should be able to safely assume you are capable of discerning between right and wrong. To be able to safely consume fiction without being consumed by it.

      If there are people that still do it, they themselves should be held responsible. People aren't born good, they decide to be good and are allowed to make mistakes before adulthood.

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