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March 9, 2011

The Gender Divide in Facebook Photos

why do some women share a lot of images online? According to a study published on March 7, those who do so are competing for attention.
 
Additionally, the study said, these women are generally the ones who base a lot of their self worth on their appearance. In addition to sharing more photos online, they also tend to have larger social "networks" on sites such as Facebook.

The study, "Contingencies of Self-Worth and Social-Networking-Site Behavior," was co-authored by Michael A. Stefanone, PhD, University at Buffalo; Derek Lackaff, PhD, University of Texas, Austin; and Devan Rosen, PhD, University of Hawaii, Manoa. It appeared in the latest issue of the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

"Although it's stereotypical and might have been predicted, it is disappointing to me that in the year 2011 so many young women continue to assert their self worth via their physical appearance -- in this case, by posting photos of themselves on Facebook as a form of advertisement. Perhaps this reflects the distorted value pegged to women's looks throughout the popular culture and in reality programming from 'The Bachelor' to 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians.'"
The study delved into time spent online, the size of an individual's social network, their "friending behavior," and the number of pictures they shared. The average age of those involved was 23.3. There were 311 participants, with close to a 50/50 split (49.8 percent were female).
Subjects were asked about their typical behavior on Facebook, and completed a questionnaire "measuring their contingencies of self worth."

According to the study, women post about five times as many pictures on Facebook as men do.

Image source : Facebookflow