The Australian Financial Press (AFP) has found out the naked social networking (NSFW) users of Facebook and Twitter are more likely to be men.
The paper says the findings were based on data collected from a survey of about 50,000 users.
“We have found that a large percentage of our users have never used a Facebook account or Twitter account,” said lead author and researcher Mark McAlpine.
“For men, it’s a bit more difficult to answer this question.
There’s a lot of variation across the sexes in what they’re doing online.”
Dr McAlphy, from the University of Sydney’s School of Social Sciences, said while it was not a definitive study, the results were interesting.
“This is interesting because we know a lot about the social networking use patterns of women, particularly in terms of what they do with it,” he said.
“So if you can’t be certain whether someone’s using it as a ‘normal’ activity or as a social networking activity, then you can probably be more accurate about your estimate.”
Dr Nicky Gartrell, from Queensland University of Technology, agreed that the study’s findings suggested there were more women than men using the two social networks.
“The difference is that, even for the men, there’s a significant difference between the use patterns that women are more consistent in, and men’s, which may be a result of them being more socially adept,” she said.
AFA asked the researchers to analyse the profiles of users of each social network and found that more women were posting nude photos than men.
Dr McALphy said that it was possible the difference could be due to people choosing to use the sites without using their real names.
“If you can sort of identify a person as an individual by their behaviour, then it’s possible that a lot more people may have been able to identify that person,” he explained.
“It may be that people may be more comfortable with sharing that identity with friends, or they may be able to share that information with strangers.”
What is nudity?
“Nudity is an activity in which someone’s genitals or other body parts are displayed for the purposes of sexual arousal,” the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) states.
“Sexual arousal is not necessarily a sexual desire or desire to engage in sexual activity; it is a desire for sexual activity.”
Dr Gartrel said it could be a reflection of an individual’s age or gender, but she also questioned the idea that the social network was responsible for men’s behaviour.
“There are a number of studies that have shown that men are more willing to share personal information online than women,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“But the fact that there’s been a shift in behaviour by women suggests that it may be men who are more prone to sharing their private information online.”
Why do so many women share nude photos?
The paper found that men tended to post photos of themselves in more intimate positions, such as on their backs or breasts, and were less likely to post nude photos of their partners or friends.
“Our results show that women tend to post more intimate pictures of themselves, but this is not a direct result of sharing their own intimate photos,” Dr Mc Alphy said.
Instead, women may be taking a cue from the male counterparts.
“They might be taking cues from their male partners and their male friends who may be less likely than their female partners to post intimate photos.”
What does it mean for people’s privacy?
Dr Gertrude Huybers, a privacy expert from the Sydney School of Law, said women’s behaviour was “probably less likely” to be monitored.
“While there are some social networking sites that have privacy policies that protect people’s private information, it is certainly not mandatory to do so,” she explained.
Dr Huyber said the findings did not mean that women’s actions were less responsible for the spread of the virus.
“I think it’s fair to say that women may share more intimate photos, and perhaps it’s not their intention to post that,” she advised.
“Perhaps they just don’t want to be the ones who get infected.”
Are there any tips to prevent the spread?
The AFA’s report said it was important to stay up-to-date on the virus with the latest information.
The Australian government has also issued advice to help people avoid contracting the virus, including getting vaccinated.
“What we know so far about the virus is that there are a range of things that people can do to protect themselves,” said Dr Mc Albert.
“These include staying in touch with people you think may be at risk, taking precautions to keep their personal information safe, and checking online for any health risks.”
Also, you should not share personal or private information that you do not have the means to access, for example, with friends or family.