Facebook profile pictures among male and female students of different age

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Abstract

The aim of this paper was to investigate the difference in the number of pictures on the facebook profile between male and female students. The study also aimed at evaluating the candidness of the profile pictures between older and younger facebook users. This data was obtained from a random sample from the facebook profiles. The data analysis was then conducted using chi square method. From the analysis, it was observed that the younger facebook users have the tendency of posting posed photographs than the older facebook users. From the analysis, it was observed that both male and female students have same tendency of sharing personal information on the facebook profile.

Introduction

Facebook has been an important means of communication in the world. Young and old people use it to inform the current progress of their friends (Lenhart, 2009).  The facebook users can achieve this when they create a profile. It has been found that facebook is one of the most popular and most visited website. Through facebook profile every user can post notes, pictures videos, and even share links to online connected friends. Facebook profile has gained social capital through initiating and developing self-imaging of users (Zhang, 2010). The profile has indeed helped to facebook user to share their current events and trends within their facebook profile (utz, 2010).

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Facebook and gender

The developments of online disclosure are basically culturally and socially created. Both male and female have different choices on social networks. In constructing primary goals and developing positive impressions and identities, the supports for social gender roles are considered. The gender social support characterizes male as agentic providers and females as communal care giver as found by (Guadogno et al., 2011).   This was determined as the second life behaviors which is termed as virtual, interactive environment which give male appearance to female facebook users than male users. In several literatures on facebook contents group them in male and female categories. Most of the male facebook photographs are include the face and head, while the female’s photographs are centered at the whole-body outlook (Reichart & Cooley, 2008). The photograph on the facebook users profile increase the popularity of the users (Smith & Cooley, 2012). Most of the literature indicates that gender stereo typing is still present even when users possess the ability to select the images that present them.  The research has also indicated that female face book users post frequently more about alcohol and marijuana users on their profile than the male counterpart (Morgan et al., 2010). The results therefore indicated that Marijuana and alcohol usage is socially accepted. According to Bond (2009), female facebook users have the tendency to post family events, friend, alcohol, and holiday schools. On the other side the male facebook users were more likely to post sport related photos (Bond, 2009).

The desire of data storage and memories was on the other side the significant contributor to female posting on facebook. According to Mesch and Beker (2010), most of the female facebook users are likely to post photographs on the profile and are willing to be shared publicly, unlike the male facebook users, who are likely to post videos of themselves online. According to Young and Quan Haase (2009), both male and female are likely to post their private and personal information as well as their images. The authors further assert that both male and female on facebook interact on the online platform and are more likely to be open. This is because there is no face-face interaction, thus having a self-disclosure without any set norms and rules. According to Sussman and Tyson (2000), women are prone to disclosing and being open in their personal information on the facebook profile. Both male and female have an interactive behavior that surrounds their gender difference. In term of politics, men usually post about six times more that their female counterparts (Eagly, 1987).

There are several differences between female and male on the way they use the social media. Facebook is one of the proportion of social media where both male and female interacts. In social theory, literature tells us that the interaction within the online is much achieved through the facial expressions, the photographs, and the text notes posted on online platforms. The facial expression and the interaction between male and female is one of the most important things on the facebook platform. The social platform on facebook is a very important communication network among the male and female users. The facebook online platform is also important to both young and old people. The objective of this study is to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between the male and female students profile pictures. The study also in interested in determining if there is statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age.  Many researches indicate that there is significant difference in the candidness of the photographs across the age brackets. This study therefore had also an interest in examining the candidness of the profile pictures between male and female facebook users.

Hypotheses

  1. Ho: There is no statistically significant difference in the number of subjects between the    male and female students’ profile pictures

Ha: There is statistically significant difference in the number of subjects between the male and female students’ profile pictures

  1. Ho: There is no statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age

Ha: There is statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age

Methodology

Sample size

The population of the survey comprised of all the facebook users old and young, male and female. A list of facebook active users were listed and a random sample of 50 facebook users selected using a simple random sampling. People personally known to the researcher were selected since an email rather than facebook messaging was to be used for questioning. The rationale for this was to seek prior and informed consent from the facebook users and ensure that confidentiality of the respondents was preserved in line with ethical research. The sampling was selected to ensure that the users sampled had several photographs on their profile. The appropriate ness of the photographs in the sampled users was also taken into consideration. This was to ensure that all the photographs were appropriate to all viewers.

Measurements

The study used a questionnaire to inquire on the information from the facebook users. From the stud, the all the variables were nominal variables, the operationally define construct #1– measured as the number of subjects (other = no individuals, group = 3 or 4 individuals, couple = two individuals, and alone = 1 individual). The codes for the were numerically identify (measure) construct #1 = (‘0’ other, ‘1’ group, ‘2’ couple, and ‘3’ alone) Hum et. al (2011).  The gender variable included; male coded 1 and female codes 0.  The predictor variable age was coded young 1 and older people as zero. The candidness variable was measured as the degree of candidness (other = individual not represented, posed = planned, between posed and candid = laughing or another non-direct position, and candid = unplanned, off guard). List the codes that will numerically identify (measure) construct #2 = (‘0’ other, ‘1’ posed, ‘2’ between posed and candid, and ‘3’ candid) (Hum et al., 2011).

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Statistical analysis

The data was coded in SPSS and analyzed in line with the hypothesis. Since the variables were nominal, a chi- square was used to analyze the hypothesis. The results were presented in table forms.

Results

Hypothesis #1: There is statistically significant difference in the number of subjects between the male and female students’ profile pictures

Gender (‘0’ female and ‘1’ male) * Number of Subjects (‘0’ other, ‘1’ alone, ‘2’ couple, and ‘3’ group) Crosstabulation
Count
Number of Subjects (‘0’ other, ‘1’ alone, ‘2’ couple, and ‘3’ group) Total
Others Alone couple group
Gender (‘0’ female and ‘1’ male) female 4 15 4 2 25
male 3 13 5 4 25
Total 7 28 9 6 50

 

From table one, it was observed that the number of female with other kind of photographs were four, the number of female students with only his one photographs (alone) were 15, the number of female couple photographs were four, and finally the number of female who had group photographs were 2. This indicates that he female students have tendency to display the personal information. The total number of male who had other kind of photographs were 7, the number of male students who had their own photograph were 13, while the number of male students who had couple photographs were 5 students, and finally the number of male students who had group photographs were only 4 students. This indicated that both male and female students have equal tendency to disclose their personal information to the public on their facebook profile.

Chi-Square Tests
Value df P – value
Pearson Chi-Square 1.063a 3 .786
Likelihood Ratio 1.077 3 .783
Linear-by-Linear Association .978 1 .323
N of Valid Cases 50
a. 6 cells (75.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 3.00.

From table 2, the researcher conducted the analysis to determine if there is difference between the female and male students on the profile photographs in their facebook profile. From the table, it can be observed that the value of chi-square was 1.063 with 3 degrees of freedom and a p- value of 0.786. This means that there is no sufficient evidence to conclude that there is significant difference between the male and female students on the number of photographs they post on their profiles. This means that both male and female students do post significantly equal number of photographs on their facebook profile.

 

Hypothesis one: There is no statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age

Age (‘0’ older and ‘1’ younger) * Candidness (‘0’ other, ‘1’ posed, ‘2’ between candid and posed, and ‘3’ candid) Crosstabulation
Count
Candidness (‘0’ other, ‘1’ posed, ‘2’ between candid and posed, and ‘3’ candid) Total
others Posed between candid and posed Candid
Age (‘0’ older and ‘1’ younger) older 2 5 0 1 8
younger 4 32 6 0 42
Total 6 37 6 1 50

 

Table three gives the results of that analysis on whether the candidness is significantly different between the younger and older facebook users. From table three, it was observed that the older indicated the photographs that showed candidness on other photographs were two, the number of photographs that posed were 5 for older facebook users, the number on photographs that indicated both candid and posed were zero for older persons, and finally the number of photograph that indicated candid were only one for older persons on facebooks. From table three, it was observed that number of younger facebook users with other kind of photographs was 4, the numbers of younger facebook users with posed photographs were 32, the number of younger facebook users with photo between candid and posed photographs was 6, and finally the number of young facebook users with candid appearance was only one person. From this analysis, it can be concluded that the younger facebook users have high number of photographs with posed than the older facebook users on their profile.

Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 7.904a 3 .048
Likelihood Ratio 7.022 3 .071
Linear-by-Linear Association .047 1 .829
N of Valid Cases 50
a. 4 cells (50.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .16.

From table four, the researcher conducted the analysis to determine if there is difference between the older and younger on the profile candid photographs in their facebook profile. From the table, it can be observed that the value of chi-square was 7.904 with 3 degrees of freedom and a p- value of 0.048. This means that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is significant difference between the younger and older facebook users on the candidness of photographs they post on their profiles. This means that the younger facebook users do post significantly high number of candid photographs on their facebook profile.

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Discussion

From that analysis, it was observed that both male and female students have equal tendency of posting same number of photographs involving their personal information. This clearly indicated that both male and female student’s facebook users share their personal information on the online platform equally. The result indicated that the younger facebook users have the tendency of posting posed photographs than the older facebook users. This research agreed with Young and Quan Haase (2009) who found that both male and female are likely to post their private and personal information and likely to post their images. Both male and female on facebook interact on the online platform and are more likely to be open since there is no face-face interaction, thus having a self-disclosure without any set norms and rules. The findings of this study agree with results in other research on the use of online communication platforms.

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  1. Bond, B. J. (2009). He posted, she posted: Gender differences in self-disclosure on social networking sites. Rocky Mountain Communication Review, 6(2), 29–37.
  2. Eagly, A. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social-role interpretation, Lawrance Erlbaum Associates. Hillsdale, NJ.
  3. Guadagno, R. E., Muscanell, N. L., Okdie, B. M., Burk, N. M., & Ward, T. B. (2011). Even in virtual environments women shop and men build: A social role perspective on Second Life. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(1), 304-308.
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  8. Reichart, S. L., & Cooley, S. (2008). Face-ism on Facebook: An analysis of self-inflicted face-ism in online profile pictures. In annual convention of the International Communication Association, Chicago, IL.
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