Andrew Edelblum, University of Dayton – Gender Stereotypes and Social Media

Men face gender stereotypes while posting on social media.

Andrew Edelblum, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Dayton, explains why.

Dr. Andrew Edelblum is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Dayton. His research examines how consumers and brands adapt to cultural, technological, and political change.

Gender Stereotypes and Social Media

Gender stereotypes exist in almost all areas of our lives — what we drive, what we wear, even what we eat and drink.

According to research I conducted with my coauthor, Dr. Nathan Warren, it turns out these gender stereotypes are present when it comes to social media behavior, too.

Specifically, we found that men who post often on social media are seen as needy and, therefore, less manly — a prejudicial attitude we call the “frequent-posting femininity stereotype.” We found evidence for this stereotype in four experiments with more than 1,300 respondents from the US and UK.

In these experiments, we asked people to evaluate an “ordinary” man who posts online for fun and has a moderate number of followers. Critically, we also described this man as someone who posts either frequently or rarely on social media.

As we suspected, when we said the man posts a lot, participants consistently rated him as more feminine than when he was described as posting a little. This was even regardless of the gender, age, political beliefs, and personal social media habits of the people evaluating him. Not even the man’s inferred social media platform of choice — like Facebook or TikTok — played a significant role.

We even tried breaking the stigma by describing men who post about others rather than themselves — or who are influencers posting for professional rather than personal reasons. However, and to our surprise, participants still saw these men as more feminine the more they posted.

As men experience historic rates of social isolation and dire mental health consequences, we believe the frequent-posting femininity stereotype reveals another instance in which men are judged for attempting to express themselves and build social connections.

Read More:
[The Conversation] – Why guys who post a lot on social media are seen as less manly