Why Do Women Watch Esports? A Social Role Perspective on Spectating Motives and Points of Attachment

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Sports spectators, Social role, Sports--Marketing


Sports Management


Guided by social role theory and the extant literature, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the gender differences in esports spectating motives and points of attachment. A questionnaire was developed to survey fans (N = 479) of the Houston Outlaws, a professional team in the Overwatch League. Findings indicate gender differences across five motivational factors: women seem to be more motivated to watch Overwatch for social opportunities, interest in player, and (player) physical attractiveness; men appear to be more motivated to watch for enjoyment of aggression and entertainment value. Our results also suggest how perceived social roles may influence gender differences in attachment to the athlete and its relationship with spectating motives. Theoretical, managerial, and social implications, as well as future research recommendations, are discussed.


Article published in Computers in Human Behavior, volume 127, February 2022.

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Publisher Citation

Bo Yu, Natasha T. Brison, and Gregg Bennett. Why do women watch esports? A social role perspective on spectating motives and points of attachment. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 127, 2022, 107055, ISSN 0747-5632, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.107055.