Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation. | BibSonomy
Gender, Sexuality and Motivations Matthew Hall, Jeff Hearn. of the American Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation. Homophily in online dating: When do you like someone like yourself? Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation. Computers . Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 18, no. “Dating Deception: Gender, Online Dating, and Exaggerated Self-Presentation.
The online dating realm differs from other CMC environments in crucial ways that may affect self-presentational strategies. An empirical study of online dating participants found that those who anticipated greater face-to-face interaction did feel that they were more open in their disclosures, and did not suppress negative aspects of the self Gibbs et al. In addition, because the goal of many online dating participants is an intimate relationship, these individuals may be more motivated to engage in authentic self-disclosures.
The majority of online dating participants claim they are truthful Gibbs et al. For instance, anticipation of face-to-face communication influences self-representation choices Walther, and self-disclosures because individuals will more closely monitor their disclosures as the perceived probability of future face-to-face interaction increases Berger, and will engage in more intentional or deliberate self-disclosure Gibbs et al. Additionally, Hancock, Thom-Santelli, and Ritchie note that the design features of a medium may affect lying behaviors, and that the use of recorded media in which messages are archived in some fashion, such as an online dating profile will discourage lying.
Also, online dating participants are typically seeking a romantic partner, which may lower their motivation for misrepresentation compared to other online relationships.
Further, Cornwell and Lundgren found that individuals involved in online romantic relationships were more likely to engage in misrepresentation than those involved in face-to-face romantic relationships, but that this was directly related to the level of involvement.
That is, respondents were less involved in their cyberspace relationships and therefore more likely to engage in misrepresentation. This lack of involvement is less likely in relationships started in an online dating forum, especially sites that promote marriage as a goal.
Additionally, empirical data about the true extent of misrepresentation in this context is lacking. The current literature relies on self-reported data, and therefore offers only limited insight into the extent to which misrepresentation may be occurring.
Assessing and Demonstrating Credibility in CMC The potential for misrepresentation online, combined with the time and effort invested in face-to-face dates, make assessment strategies critical for online daters. In short, online users become cognitive misers, forming impressions of others while conserving mental energy Wallace, For instance, individuals might use search engines to locate newsgroup postings by the person under scrutiny, knowing that this searching is covert and that the newsgroup postings most likely were authored without the realization that they would be archived Ramirez et al.
In light of the above, our research question is thus: How do online dating participants manage their online presentation of self in order to accomplish the goal of finding a romantic partner? Method In order to gain insight into this question, we interviewed online dating participants about their experiences, thoughts, and behaviors. The survey findings are reported in Gibbs et al. In their profiles, participants may include one or more photographs and a written open-ended description of themselves and their desired mate.
They also answer a battery of closed-ended questions, with preset category-based answers, about descriptors such as income, body type, religion, marital status, and alcohol usage. Users can conduct database searches that generate a list of profiles that match their desired parameters usually gender, sexual orientation, age, and location. Initial communication occurs through a double-blind email system, in which both email addresses are masked, and participants usually move from this medium to others as the relationship progresses.
We took an inductive approach based on general research questions informed by literature on online self-presentation and relationship formation rather than preset hypotheses. Interviews were semistructured to ensure that all participants were asked certain questions and to encourage participants to raise other issues they felt were relevant to the research. The protocol included questions such as: Most slums are situated in the global south. Favelas historically have broadly been defined as illegal squatter settlements.
The infrastructure of slums generally entails makeshift shacks constructed of bricks, garbage, and other discarded material, built in close proximity to the city. Other defining characteristics of this social construction involve specific entry points, an occupying population of low-income residents and, in the context of Brazil, high rates of violence due to rivaling drug factions and clashes with the police Goldstein, In both contexts, residents tend to live in high-density spaces and, in the case of India, share mobile phones with multiple users Rangaswamy and Cutrell, These spatial configurations and social conditions shape the daily realities of residents, which inevitably influence their perspectives on issues related to privacy, freedom of expression, surveillance, and trust.
Such perspectives naturally influence their behavior, both in digital and in non-digital contexts. Method Data for this text are extracted from a larger study that focuses on perceptions about privacy and online behaviors among low-income youth in Brazil and India. It hinges on the case studies of 22 participants between the ages of 14 and 27, who live in peripheral spaces in two cities in Brazil — Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro — and 22 participants who live in outer suburban areas peri-urban areas in India — 12 from Isnapur, which is a small town 30 miles from the city of Hyderabad in South India and 10 from the city of Ludhiana in North India.
All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. After analyzing interview data, we conducted a series of focus groups to delve deeper into the core questions of our study and to ask participants to make sense of some of the findings from the initial individual interviews. Photo-documenting cell phones allowed us to record security measures via privacy settings. It also allowed us to triangulate interview data about Internet usage, based on the apps that the participants had downloaded and described as most frequently used.
We recruited the 12 informants in Belo Horizonte from a night school program for non-traditional students, where they were enrolled. All of the interviews were conducted at the school. The Rio de Janeiro participants were recruited through community leaders who had access to youth who met the parameters of our study.
The interviews were conducted at two different community centers and an educational program site. Participants from Isnapur were recruited from public squares and playgrounds and in Ludhiana from a low-income population segment of college-going youth and in blue-collar jobs. Throughout this article, we use pseudonyms to refer to the research participants in order to protect their anonymity. Results and discussion In both contexts, youth struggled to define privacy.
There is no obvious translation of this vocabulary in their local languages. Facebook is a public sphere to them. However, the Indian and Brazilian context deeply diverge when it comes to privacy concerns and practices, with the Brazilian participants being far more cautious and distrustful of the Internet than the Indian counterpart as is illustrated in the sections below. Trust of digital information appears to be far more pervasive among the Indian than the Brazilian participants. Our select group of Indian youth almost always reveal all of their real information, while the Brazilian participants are more cautious.
While they also give their real names, they are more prone to distrusting people and institutions on the Internet. The Brazilian youth are more protective of their privacy and do not share their cell phones as freely with others. Because they will start looking at my personal stuff. And I do not let them. If they want to see something, I, myself, will show them. I do not let them use it. However, when in relationships, many of our Brazilian participants share their passwords with their partner.
Romance is a dominant theme that emerged from our data, warranting a special focus, particularly as it relates to articulations on privacy. These two contexts often fall on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to romance, dating, and sexuality. These divergent norms and online behaviors reveal the problematics of analyzing digital privacy within the BRICS as a consolidated and unified social value to guide in the making of Internet regulation for the emerging markets.
Friending strangers, fake love, and detecting deception Friending strangers seems like one of the many Internet myths that got dismissed as platform practices played out and matured.
Most Facebook studies in the West have revealed that online networks are mostly an extension of existing social networks, including weak social ties Boyd and Marwick, ; Knowles et al. Yet, recent studies focusing on marginalized youth beyond the West have revealed that Facebook becomes an aspirational geography where disadvantaged youth seek to connect and expand their networks well beyond their limited social capital.
For instance, youth in the slums of Hyderabad and Chennai … searched for new friends based on familiar names or were happy to friend request any Indian person. More importantly, underlying all these on-line activities is the urge to seek aspirationally endowing interactions with people from an elevated social status. Rangaswamy and Arora, Our findings from the Indian context are consistent with these revelations. In fact, among the Indian youth, a quarter of their friends on Facebook are people they have never met nor expect to meet.
Their friending decisions are based on profile photos and the nature of their posts: Friendship is usually the pathway for more romantic inclinations in the Indian context compared to the Brazilian counterpart. While the Brazilian context has more relaxed social norms on sexuality and dating among the sexes, Indian youth are still subject to arranged marriages and there are strong protocols and barriers in communicating with the opposite sex.
This creates high motivation for the Indian youth to reach out to the opposite sex who are strangers online. That said, girls are more cautious than boys. Some worry about their reputation: Some have migrated from one account to another because of strangers who started to stalk them: In addition, girls are more likely to put restrictions on photos when sharing compared to the boys.
Of course, with friending strangers, opportunities of deception surface. Facebook carves new spaces for pleasure as well as new vulnerabilities. The disembodied nature of online communication increases the opportunities for deception.
Slumdog romance: Facebook love and digital privacy at the margins
False self-representation is a well-documented, common, and global social practice as both women and men invest tremendous effort to position themselves as desirable in this highly competitive romance economy Ellison et al. For instance, among Germans, women are more likely to misrepresent their physical attractiveness and men are more likely to misrepresent information on marital status, intended relationship, and height Schmitz et al.
Much of this can be harmless. However, deception when done systematically to scam people with the promise of love can be tremendously destructive at an emotional, psychological, and financial level, and generally devastating when concerning the youth. In our case site, Hyderabad, IRSs have become so common that the police were compelled to set up a website with instructions for online users on how to detect and protect themselves from such incidents. Friending strangers on Facebook is a powerful strategy to initiate such scams.
In our research, romance frauds, albeit at a smaller scale, are a common malady among the youth in the Indian slums. Fake girl profiles are set up to lure the ones keen on companionship. The game here is to promise love in exchange for recharging a mobile.
Some send photos and say that they are single and desperate for love. This has compelled a steep learning curve among these young men on detecting fake from authentic profiles on Facebook. Sanjiv, another young man from the slum, shares his deception detection strategy: Interestingly, while there is much literature on damaging forms of deception and the building of false trustworthiness and credibility Afroz et al.
As we can see from the above narratives, the young male participants in the Indian slums in a short period of time have developed a system of detection of online romance deception, compelling us to view privacy not just as a social value and cultural practice but as a dynamic literacy. This framing can enable us to go beyond the tiresome global north and global south divide in our understandings on digital privacy and romance in the makings of Internet regulation.
The politics of kissing, slut-shaming, and revenge porn Another area of vulnerability is revenge porn, the non-consensual sharing of sexual content posted and distributed online of the person featured, with the purpose of shaming Levendowski, While this practice is pervasive worldwide, it far more frequently results in deadly consequences in patriarchal societies in the global south.
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The digital sphere is seen as complicit. With this perspective, Facebook is seen as imbued with an intrinsic digital culture of loose morality and an extension of Western public space including pubs and bars, which bring together the sexes in ways that challenge so-called Indian values and cultures.
This is hardly a stand-alone event. This created street protests across different cities, defying this conservative outlook. In contrast, the Brazilian context has far less gender segregation and sexuality is more open and permissive. Even then, sexuality issues matter and have impact on Internet regulation.
For instance, public anxieties about child pornography became pivotal for pushing legal initiatives to control Internet traffic in Medeiros and Bygrave, Media events such as the suicide of year-old Julia Rebecca after the posting of the video online of her having sex with other minors pushed the revenge porn bill into motion.
The court ordered Apple and Google to remove this app from their online services. With these cultural events ongoing in our select sites, we found that young women in the Indian context were far more sympathetic to the women in released sex videos compared to the Brazilian counterpart.
Slumdog romance: Facebook love and digital privacy at the margins
However, our fieldwork in Brazil revealed that many women blamed women, partly or fully, for the release of revenge porn videos. Several male and female participants put the blame on the girl: Predominately, the perspective was that of shared guilt: A few evoked their right to privacy in such discussions. While acknowledging self-blame, Elena from Rio stated clearly that it is a matter of rights.
One way of viewing the Brazilian outlook is female complicity in the system of patriarchy. Webb argues that the reason women have been complicit in slut-shaming of other women for their sexual behavior is that by doing so, social benefits are conferred upon them.
Yet, from our fieldwork, this apparently does not apply to the Indian context. Hence, female complicity is not sufficient or adequate an explanation to comprehend these divergent perspectives on slut-shaming. Kaya argues about the fragility and temporal nature of public space in patriarchal societies for women where even an inappropriate male gaze can transform what is deemed public into an intensely private moment.
Hence, there is a constant state of vulnerability for women where even the most public domain can at any moment in time become private, situating their behavior as a violation to the norms dictating that space.
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This creates a perennial fear of violating the public sphere under patriarchal surveillance. The public realm becomes a deeply gendered space. Therefore, we can never talk about privacy without talking about gender equality as Lever compellingly argues.
Hence, a more opportune lens could be to draw from Indian feminist literature that has emerged in the last two decades, demanding a more emancipatory politics and agency in shaping their narratives concerning their sexuality Oza, ; Vijayakumar, Why our Indian female participants responded this way may be indicative of the changing status of women as they carve a larger public presence by participating in the job sphere and other realms of social life that were once marked as masculine.
While this pursuit is outside the scope of this article, it is well worth exploring further as these contrasting responses between the Brazil and Indian female participants may reveal a richer outlook on analyzing privacy beyond the conventional trappings of the global north—south divide.
We need to see this as part of a larger ecology of sexuality that involves the state, gender norms, and the culture of private and the public, allowing for more varied forms of expression across the spectrum. Facebook being a digital and public domain serves simultaneously as an extension of conventional norms and expectations dictating the traditional public sphere as well as a recalibrated space for new and diverse forms of sexual expression and re-gendering of public space through anonymity and protest as in the campaigns described above.
This is part of a longer lineage of the role of technological innovation abetting sexual deviance well before the Internet Bhattacharjya and Ganesh, For instance, telephones in homes created new forms of privacy for women with their suitors in the 19th and 20th centuries in a social climate of being chaperoned in public for marital prospects Marwin, One suggestion on regulating Internet space on the grounds of protecting the victims of sexual content made public online is to consider the non-voluntary sharing of sexual content as an act of copyright infringement Levendowski, Hence, Internet regulations on sexuality need to confront larger legal systems and values embedded within these normative constructs.