Why do some women post a lot of photos of themselves on Facebook? A new study shows that it's because they are "more likely to base their self-worth on appearance and use social networking to compete for attention."
Overall, the results suggest that, compared with men, females identify more strongly with their image and appearance and use Facebook to compete for attention, said the lead author of the study, Michael A. Stefanone, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Buffalo.
The women who had the largest social networks and posted more photos of themselves were more highly vested in their appearance.
“The results suggest persistent differences in the behavior of men and women that result from a cultural focus on female image and appearance,” Stefanone said in a news release. “[I]t 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 authors also speculated that posting a lot of photos of oneself in the company of other people “may serve to communicate the importance of particular relationships because these bonds may provide security regarding ones appearance and self worth.”