Researchers at Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Pennsylvania State Universities have discovered what traits gamers look for when accepting friend requests from men and women online. For their study, they had both men and women choose names that indicated their gender while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 online. According to the study, online gamers look for opposite traits in men and women when considering who they add to their friends list.
Gamers are more likely to accept friend requests from women if they are passive after a round of multiplayer. If a woman who acts agressively online sends a friend request, she's more likely to be declined. Interestingly, the exact opposite is true for men. Men who play aggressively are likely to have their friend requests accepted, but they are more likely to be rejected if they are passive. They also found that women, regardless of how they act online, are more likely to be accepted than men.
According to Polygon, the researchers stated that their findings not only support their original hypothesis, but they also highlight clear problems surrounding sex role stereotyping. "Sex role stereotyping by players in first-person shooter games and other online gaming environments may encourage a social environment that marginalizes and alienates female players," they reported. "The anonymity of online games may engender endorsement of group-consistent attitudes and amplification of social stereotyping.