International gender differences and gaps in online social networks

Gabriel Magno, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Article 1 of the United Nations Charter claims "human rights" and "fundamental freedoms" "without distinction as to […] sex". Yet in 1995 the Human Development Report came to the sobering conclusion that "in no society do women enjoy the same opportunities as men"1. Today, gender disparities remain a global issue and addressing them is a top priority for organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund. To track progress in this matter and to observe the effect of new policies, the World Economic Forum annually publishes its Global Gender Gap Report. This report is based on a number of offline variables such as the ratio of female-to-male earned income or the percentage of women in executive office over the last 50 years. In this paper, we use large amounts of network data from Google+ to study gender differences in 73 countries and to link online indicators of inequality to established offline indicators. We observe consistent global gender differences such as women having a higher fraction of reciprocated social links. Concerning the link to offline variables, we find that online inequality is strongly correlated to offline inequality, but that the directionality can be counter-intuitive. In particular, we observe women to have a higher online status, as defined by a variety of measures, compared to men in countries such as Pakistan or Egypt, which have one of the highest measured gender inequalities. Also surprisingly we find that countries with a larger fraction of within-gender social links, rather than across-gender, are countries with less gender inequality offline, going against an expectation of online gender segregation. On the other hand, looking at "differential assortativity", we find that in countries with more offline gender inequality women have a stronger tendency for withing-gender linkage than men. We believe our findings contribute to ongoing research on using online data for development and prove the feasibility of developing an automated system to keep track of changing gender inequality around the globe. Having access to the social network information also opens up possibilities of studying the connection between online gender segregration and quantified offline gender inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages121-138
Number of pages18
Volume8851
ISBN (Print)9783319137339
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event6th International Conference on Social Informatics, SocInfo 2014 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 11 Nov 201413 Nov 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8851
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349

Other

Other6th International Conference on Social Informatics, SocInfo 2014
CountrySpain
CityBarcelona
Period11/11/1413/11/14

Fingerprint

Gender Differences
Social Networks
Economics
Gender
Globe
Segregation
Linkage
Percentage
Intuitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Theoretical Computer Science

Cite this

Magno, G., & Weber, I. (2014). International gender differences and gaps in online social networks. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 8851, pp. 121-138). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 8851). Springer Verlag.

International gender differences and gaps in online social networks. / Magno, Gabriel; Weber, Ingmar.

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). Vol. 8851 Springer Verlag, 2014. p. 121-138 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 8851).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Magno, G & Weber, I 2014, International gender differences and gaps in online social networks. in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). vol. 8851, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), vol. 8851, Springer Verlag, pp. 121-138, 6th International Conference on Social Informatics, SocInfo 2014, Barcelona, Spain, 11/11/14.
Magno G, Weber I. International gender differences and gaps in online social networks. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). Vol. 8851. Springer Verlag. 2014. p. 121-138. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)).
Magno, Gabriel ; Weber, Ingmar. / International gender differences and gaps in online social networks. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). Vol. 8851 Springer Verlag, 2014. pp. 121-138 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)).
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