Gender gaps in deceptive self-presentation on social media platforms vary with gender equality: A multinational investigation

Dasha Kolesnyk, M.G. de Jong, Rik Pieters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Deceptive self-presentation (DSP) on social media platforms appears to be common. However, its prevalence and determinants are still largely unknown, partly because admitting such behavior is socially sensitive and hard to study. The authors investigated DSP from the perspective of mating theories in two key domains: physical attractiveness and personal achievement. A truth-telling technique was used to measure DSP in a survey among 12,257 individuals (51% female) across 25 countries. As hypothesized, men and women reported more DSP in the domain traditionally most relevant for their gender in a mating context (females about physical attractiveness and males about personal achievement). However and contrary to lay beliefs (N = 790), we found larger rather than smaller gender differences in DSP in countries with higher gender equality, due to fewer gender-atypical relative to gender-typical DSP in countries with higher gender equality. Higher gender equality was also associated with less DSP for men and women worldwide. Thus, increased gender equality conditions on the (super)national level may allow traditional, ingrained gender differences to express themselves more.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 2021

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