As eager as you may be to post a picture of yourself in your new bikini, you may want to think twice. Sharing provocative photos may score you a bad reputation...among other women. According to a new study young women who post revealing pictures of themselves are seen as less competent, and less physically and socially attractive by their female peers.
There is so much pressure on teen girls and young women to portray themselves as sexy, but sharing those photos online may have more negative consequences than positive.
The study, published on Monday in the Journal of Psychology of Popular Media Culture, suggests that a woman’s peers may view her differently if she posts sexy selfies on social media. Assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and the study's co-author, Dr. Elizabeth Daniels, says in the release, “There is so much pressure on teen girls and young women to portray themselves as sexy, but sharing those photos online may have more negative consequences than positive.”
The study's other author, Dr. Eileen Zurbriggen, told the Los Angeles times, “This is one of the first studies to show that not only do other women and girls perceive the women in non-sexualized photographs as more competent, they’re also seen as prettier and more desirable as a friend.”
To conduct the study, Dr. Daniels and Dr. Zurbriggen asked 58 teenage girls and 60 young women (aged 17-25) questions about a 20-year-old woman’s Facebook profile. Two fake profiles were created under the name Amanda Johnson. The accounts were nearly identical aside from the main photo. Half of the participants were shown a provocative photo in which Amanda was wearing a low-cut red dress with a slit up one leg. The others saw the fake Amanda Johnson in jeans a short sleeve shirt and a scarf.
The researchers than asked the 118 women in the study to rate Amanda on her competence, friendliness and attractiveness. The researchers found that the covered-up scored higher in all three categories.
Unfortunately for us this study doesn’t touch upon exactly why women feel this way about one another. Maybe next time.
[via Huffington Post]