Are women using Facebook to feel better about themselves?
A new study published in the U.S. suggests it might be exactly so. University of Buffalo research team found that not only do women share more photos on Facebook, but in general they base their self-worth more strongly on their appearance. Sharing photos on Facebook may be a way for women to try and boost their self-image and self-confidence.
The results suggest persistent differences in the behavior of men and women that result from a cultural focus on female image and appearance.
Based on a survey of 311 college age participants, the study measured both how participants used Facebook, as well as the factors they based their self-esteem upon. While some based it on public contingencies like appearance and the approval of others, the remainder based it more upon private circles, like family love, or personal virtue.
Women, as well as younger participants, tended to favor public contingencies, as well as to spend more time on Facebook and to share more photos. Generally, those basing self-worth on private contingencies spent less time online.
“The culture of celebrity… offers much more appearance-based rewards and penalties to women than to men,” the study said.