Fake Geek Girl: The Gender Conflict in Nerd Culture
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This thesis explores a gendered conflict in nerd culture. I sent an online survey to self-identified women nerds with a series of questions asking their opinion of the representation of women in nerd media and about their experiences within the nerd community. Seventy-five percent of respondents reported that a sexy or sexualized appearance was the most prominent aspect of women's representation in nerd media. Eighty-two percent of participants had experienced a gender-based insult when participating in nerd media. Findings suggest that harassment and representation in media is worse for women comic book and video game media and communities than in other sub-genres within the culture. More research is needed on racial representation and participation and on nerd men's experiences with gate-keeping.