In an article called “The Virtual Battle of the Sexes“, the BBC report on research by Dmitri Williams (University of Southern California) Mia Consalvo (Ohio University), Scott Caplan (University of Delaware ) and Nick Yee (Palo Alto Research Center).
In particular they highlight analyses which suggests EQ2 players tend to be healthier than the general population, and that 40% of them are female and 5 times more likely to be bisexual.
Williams also posts about this paper on Terranova in an article called “Gender differences: New findings, new paper”
You can get the original 44 page manuscript from his publications list,
Williams, D., M. Consalvo, S. Caplan & N. Yee. (2009, in press). Looking for gender (LFG): Gender roles and behaviors among online gamers. Journal of Communication.
Here’s the abstract,
“Gender role theory was used to examine differences among male and female players of a large online game. Several hypotheses regarding the importance of gender and relationships were tested by combining a large survey dataset with unobtrusive behavioral data from a year of play. Consistent with expectations, males played for achievement-oriented reasons and were more aggressive, especially within romantic relationships where both partners played. Female players in such relationships had higher general life happiness than their male counterparts. Female players were more likely to play for social reasons. Contrary to popular stereotypes and current hypotheses, it was the female players who played the most. Female players were also healthier than male players or females in the general population. The several findings have implications for gender theory and communication-oriented methods in games and online research—most notably for the use of self-reported time spent, which was systematically incorrect and different by gender.”