London: Women who are obsessed with their
looks tend to post more photographs and maintain larger
networks on social networking sites such as Facebook, a new
study has suggested.
The study, led by Michael Stefanone from the University
of Buffalo, found that women who base their self-worth on
their appearance take the help of social networking sites to
feel good and gain attention.
Perhaps, they identify more strongly with their image
and appearance than men, said the researchers.
"The results suggest persistent differences in the
behaviour of men and women that result from a cultural focus
on female image and appearance," Dr Stefanone was quoted as
saying by the Daily Mail.
Dr Stefanone and his team -- Dr Derek Lackaff from the
University of Texas and Dr Devan Rosen from the University of
Hawaii -- examined specific online behaviour on social network
They surveyed 311 volunteers and studied both how each
participant used Facebook and what factors they base their
They looked at the amount of time men and women spent
managing profiles, the number of photos they shared, the size
of their online networks and how promiscuous they were in
terms of "friendly" behaviour.
Dr Stefanone said: "Those whose self-esteem is based
on public-based contingencies -- such as others` approval,
physical appearance and outdoing others in competition -- were
more involved in online photo sharing.
"And those whose self-worth is most contingent on
appearance has a higher intensity of online photo sharing."
However, for people whose self-worth is defined by
family life and behaving in a morally upstanding manner "spent
less time online".
Although it`s stereotypical, Dr Stefanone said, it is
disappointing that so many young women continue to assert
their self-worth via their physical appearance 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
television," he added.