Gender Gaps in Deceptive Self-Presentation on Social-Media Platforms Vary With Gender Equality: A Multinational Investigation

  • Dasha Kolesnyk (Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) (Creator)
  • Martijn de Jong (Creator)
  • Rik Pieters (Tilburg University) (Creator)



Deceptive self-presentation on social-media platforms appears to be common. However, its prevalence and determinants are still largely unknown, partly because admitting such behavior is socially sensitive and hard to study. We investigated deceptive self-presentation from the perspective of mating theories in two key domains: physical attractiveness and personal achievement. A truth-telling technique was used to measure deceptive self-presentation in a survey of 12,257 adults (51% female) across 25 countries. As hypothesized, men and women reported more deceptive self-presentation in the domain traditionally most relevant for their gender in a mating context. However, contrary to lay beliefs (N = 790), results showed larger gender differences in deceptive self-presentation in countries with higher gender equality because there is less gender-atypical (relative to gender-typical) deceptive self-presentation in these countries. Higher gender equality was also associated with less deceptive self-presentation for men and women worldwide.
Date made available2021

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