Sideline thought from a discussion in a locked entry in markpasc 's LJ.
There are a lot of people who play across gender boundaries online. Men playing women, women playing men, either playing various romanticized versions of someone intersexed, whatever. Some do it briefly, some do it for a long, long time, and ultimately become known as their differently-gendered avatar, even after their physical gender comes out.
How many of these people do it for experimentation? How many as cynical bits of gamespersonship (like 'female' MMORPG characters who get lots of gifts)? How many do it because it's a way of dealing with gender dysphoria*?
And is there a greater incidence of gender dysphoria among people who habitually do this than among the general population of these games?
As far as I know, nobody's researched this. I just have vague little chunks of anecdotal evidence, and suspicions. Researching it would be pretty difficult, in fact, given the way people may reflexively lie about being a cross-gender character to keep up the character's credibility; being publicly known as one changes reactions.
Just one of those random thoughts.
(PS: note that this is a public entry, if you're going to use yourself as a case history in a comment, you'll be outing yourself to anyone who reads my LJ!)
A nice cup of rabies
Rantings with occasional art.
- cross-gender online play