Attention Military/Commercial Simulation Developers, Users, & Trainers: Visually-induced or Motion-induced Sickness is not Necessarily More Severe for Women

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Ben LawsonJeffrey Bolkhovsky

Abstract: Extended reality (XR), head-mounted displays (HMD), simulators, and advanced vehicle/teleoperation display-control systems show promise for augmenting job skills training or aiding mission decision-making among aviators, astronauts, ship handlers, emergency responders, etc. Unfortunately, such systems require unnatural sensorimotor integration which often induces motion-sickness and/or visually-induced motion sickness (VIMS). NATO and other groups are studying who is most vulnerable, which will inform system design and training protocols. A common assertion is that most studies find women far more susceptible to motion sickness/VIMS, and a recent article called one type of virtual reality (VR) “sexist in its effects.” We reviewed how many studies support the notion that women are more susceptible. We amassed the largest known sample of relevant literature involving direct empirical or survey studies of potential sex difference among studies of motion sickness or VIMS. To date, 76 relevant studies have been identified, among which only 37 (48.7%) are consistent with the assertion that women are more susceptible than men. Such findings require researchers, developers, and trainers to refrain from concluding a sex difference exists presently, especially since many studies are not tightly controlled. Premature judgments could harm military/workforce readiness, career prospects of women, and dissemination of useful technologies.

Keywords: Motion Sickness, Simulator Sickness, Cybersickness, Individual Difference

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003571

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