Daughter was discriminated against in the social networks of parents

Daughter was discriminated against in the social networks of parents

Parents often mentioned the sons, and users often likely such posts.

Scientists from the Higher school of Economics analyzed more than half a million posts from social networks “Vkontakte” and found that the sons mentioned more often than daughters, and this concerns both posts made by mothers, and those records made by the fathers.

Also posts about sons on average had gained more likes.

The results of the study were published in December in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gender discrimination manifests itself not only in regard to people conscious of age, but can affect children even before they born: a study involving a large-scale population surveys show that parents often hope for the appearance of sons and want among their children were the majority.

Such discrimination (even if it is expressed in the form of light) can further affect the particularities of child’s education: the desired son can spend more resources than a daughter who wanted less.

Elizaveta Sivak and Ivan Smirnov of the Higher school of Economics decided to analyse how gender discrimination against children affected by posting about children on social networks.

NewsDifficult share: in what countries it is better not to be born a girl

To do this, they analyzed 635665 open positions published in 2016 in “Vkontakte” users aged 18 to 50 years of St. Petersburg. They chose the posts which mention the words “daughter” and “son” as well as their analogues (for example, “daughter”, “daughter” or “son”). In dataset also got information about the sex of the author of the post, and the number of likes left.

The researchers found that the number of social network users mentioning their sons, higher than the number of those who mentions daughters. It concerned as the posts that were left by women, and posts that have left men. In addition, posts about sons received more likes: for example, one post about son written by a woman, received an average of four women likes more than a post a similar post about daughters, from men — on average by 0.7 Laika more.

The authors note that they encountered gender discrimination can negatively affect daughters: mentions sons are not only more likely to occur in social networks of parents and get more likes that children can act as a positive feedback indicating increased attention to them. Reducing such feedback in the direction of the girls can for instance negatively affect their self-esteem.

Open data researchers in social networks are often used in sociological research. For example, three years ago, the researchers used data from Facebook to examine how choice of work affects the profession of different family members.