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Facebook: which ‘friends’ are we attracted to

Do sexy photos on facebook increase women’s attractiveness?

One of the functions of facebook is to share photos of oneself with others. It is known that compared to men, women post photos or material with sexual implications . But how do men perceive this material?

A US research group provided relevant data based on a sample of heterosexual male students, to whom they showed relevant material on facebook and then asked them to express their views (Moreno, 2011). Almost all the men in the study said they use facebook to gain access to potential future partners.

Three were the main conclusions of the study:

1) Posts that had sexual elements, in the sense that they implied something sexual, increased men’s sexual expectations.

2) These posts reduces men’s desire to start a relationship with these women.

3) The material presented via facebook was rated as important and valuable but incomplete.

How do women perceive men’s ‘likes’ on facebook?

Researchers from the University of Virginia used facebook in order to investigate whether it is true that “we like those that like us.” They showed every woman who participated in the study four male profiles and told them that men were

  1. a) attracted a lot to them,
  2. b) attracted moderately to them or
  3. c) were not certain – perhaps attracted much, perhaps moderately (uncertainty).

The results showed that women felt more attracted to men who were uncertain. Then, they liked those that were attracted alot to them, and finally they liked less thos that were moderately e attracted to them.

It seems, then, that when a man’s activity on facebook shows vague interest in a woman, then it is more attractive than even the strong interest.

Moreno MA, Brockman LN, Wasserheit JN et al. (2012) A pilot evaluation of older adolescents’ sexual reference displays on Facebook. J Sex Res 49: 390-399.


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