A new study, issued today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, revealed that economically unequal environments are making women take sexy selfies to compete with other women. The recent research, carried out by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), in Sydney, Australia, showed that women are more keen to take provocative pics in places with more economic inequality, rather than out of patriarchal oppression.
The scientists reached these conclusions after analyzing 68,000 sexy selfies posted on social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram, across more than 110 countries.
“We found no association with gender oppression. It’s all about how women are competing and why they’re competing,” said the study’s leading author, Khandis Blake from UNSW.
“Women are more likely to invest time and effort into posting sexy selfies online in places where economic inequality is rising, and not in places where men hold more societal power and gender inequality is rife,” the researcher added.
Economically unequal environments make women take sexy selfies to compete with other women
The researchers argued that income inequality increases competitiveness and status anxiety, making people sensitive to where they situate on the social ladder. According to the new study, the same thing is happening to women who post more sexy selfies than others, trying to compete with women who already have social status.
“Rightly or wrongly, in today’s environment, looking sexy can generate large returns, economically, socially, and personally,” stated Khandis Blake. So, next time when you see “a young woman adjusts her bikini provocatively with her phone at the ready,” don’t misjudge her, but “think of her as a strategic player in a complex social and evolutionary game,” the study’s leading author said.
In conclusion, the study says, women take sexy selfies to compete with other women in economically unequal environments, rather than out of patriarchal oppression.