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Gender patterns on a large social network (SocInfo 2014)

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Gender differences in human social and communication behavior have long been observed in various contexts. This study investigates such differences in the case of online social networking. We find a general tendency towards gender homophily, more marked for women, however users having a large circle of friends tend to have more connections with users of the opposite gender. We also inspect the temporal sequences of adding new friends and find that women are much more likely to connect with other women as their initial friends. Through studying triangle motifs broken down by gender we detect a marked tendency of users to gender segregation, i.e. to form single gender groups; this phenomenon is more accentuated for men.

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Gender patterns on a large social network (SocInfo 2014)

  1. 1. Gender patterns in a large oline social network David Laniado david.laniado@barcelonamedia.org with Yana Volkovich, Karolin Kappler and Andreas Kaltenbrunner SocInfo 2014, Barcelona David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 1 / 23
  2. 2. Gender homophily David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 2 / 23
  3. 3. Tuenti, the “Spanish Facebook” Popular Spain-based, invitation-only social networking site David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 3 / 23
  4. 4. Dataset Complete anonymized snapshot of the social network (Dec 2011) 10 million users 500 million friendship relationships relative friendship order for each user 500 million interactions on users’ walls during 3 months David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 4 / 23
  5. 5. Building the social environment 1st research question How does gender affect SNS-adoption? Do men show a preference to accept invitations from men and women from women? Do online ego-networks grow in a gender-biased way? David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 5 / 23
  6. 6. Joining the social network Men: slight preference to accept invitation from another man (55%) David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 6 / 23
  7. 7. Joining the social network Men: slight preference to accept invitation from another man (55%) the second is more likely to have the same gender as the first one David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 7 / 23
  8. 8. Joining the social network Women: strong preference to accept invitation from a woman (72%) David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 8 / 23
  9. 9. Joining the social network Women: strong preference to accept invitation from a woman (72%) If 1st friend was a woman, the 2nd is a woman with 70% probab. David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 9 / 23
  10. 10. Friendship order Women friend more women until about the 150th friend then they friend more men Men friend more women only after the 400th friend fraction of male and female friends given friendship order 0.7 0.65 0.6 0.55 0.5 0.45 0.4 0.35 100 101 102 103 0.3 friendship order fraction of same gender friends male friends of male users female friends of female users female friends of all users David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 10 / 23
  11. 11. Gender homophily 2nd research question Do men and women have similar friendship networks, both in size and composition? Is there a preference for connection among same gender users? David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 11 / 23
  12. 12. Same gender friends friends avg # men avg # women avg % same gender men 82 78 51.48% women 76 85 56.46% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 percentage of same gender friends fraction of users distribution of the percentage of same gender friends male friends of male users female friends of female users David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 12 / 23
  13. 13. Gender homophily by degree Users with a smaller circle of friends have more women friends 0.6 0.58 0.56 0.54 0.52 0.5 0.48 0.46 0.44 0.42 0.4 0 200 400 600 800 1000 # friends fraction of users fraction of female friends of a user given degree female friends David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 13 / 23
  14. 14. Gender homophily by degree, broken down by gender Tendency to heterophily goes along with bigger ego-networks also men with less than 25 friends have more women friends 0.66 0.64 0.62 0.6 0.58 0.56 0.54 0.52 0.5 0.48 0.46 0.44 0.42 0.4 0.38 0.36 0.34 0 200 400 600 800 1000 # friends fraction of users fraction of the same−gender friends given degree male friends of male users female friends of female users David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 14 / 23
  15. 15. Triangle motifs 3rd research question How does gender affect the network structure and the formation of transitive relationships (triangles)? David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 15 / 23
  16. 16. Triangle motifs by gender Expected results in a perfectly gender balanced network assuming same number of users, and same degree distribution Type of triangle friendship network expected expected observed (balanced) (reshuffled) men only 12.5% 1 woman, 2 men 37.5% 2 women, 1 man 37.5% women only 12.5% total 3:64 1010 David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 16 / 23
  17. 17. Triangle motifs by gender Randomly reshuffle the gender of users having the same degree account for higher connectivity of women Type of triangle friendship network expected expected observed (balanced) (reshuffled) men only 12.5% 11.6% 1 woman, 2 men 37.5% 36.6% 2 women, 1 man 37.5% 38.4% women only 12.5% 13.4% total 3:64 1010 David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 17 / 23
  18. 18. Triangle motifs by gender Results observed: more single-gender triangles than expected Deviation from the reshuffled model is stronger for men (+38%) than for women (+27%) Type of triangle friendship network expected expected observed (balanced) (reshuffled) men only 12.5% 11.6% 16.0% 1 woman, 2 men 37.5% 36.6% 32.5% 2 women, 1 man 37.5% 38.4% 34.5% women only 12.5% 13.4% 17.0% total 3:64 1010 David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 18 / 23
  19. 19. Triangle motifs by gender (interaction network) Expected results in a perfectly gender balanced network assuming same number of users, and same degree distribution Type of triangle interacion network expected expected observed (balanced) (reshuffled) men only 12.5% 1 woman, 2 men 37.5% 2 women, 1 man 37.5% women only 12.5% total 1:24 108 David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 19 / 23
  20. 20. Triangle motifs by gender (interaction network) Randomly reshuffle the gender of users having the same degree much higher activity of women (write and receive more messages) Type of triangle interacion network expected expected observed (balanced) (reshuffled) men only 12.5% 6.2% 1 woman, 2 men 37.5% 28.4% 2 women, 1 man 37.5% 43.3% women only 12.5% 22.1% total 1:24 108 David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 20 / 23
  21. 21. Triangle motifs by gender (interaction network) Observed results: many more single-gender triangles than expected Again, deviation from the reshuffled model is much stronger for men (+60%) than for women (+28%) Type of triangle interacion network expected expected observed (balanced) (reshuffled) men only 12.5% 6.2% 9.9% 1 woman, 2 men 37.5% 28.4% 24.4% 2 women, 1 man 37.5% 43.3% 37.3% women only 12.5% 22.1% 28.4% total 1:24 108 David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 21 / 23
  22. 22. Conclusions General tendency towards homophily more accentuated for women but users with many friends tend to heterophily Women: stronger homophily in their first steps in the social network perceived presence of other women is fundamental to enter a new digital social environment ) this can explain why it can be hard to face gender gap Tendency to form gender homogeneous groups more marked for men future work: study the composition of larger cliques and clusters David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 22 / 23
  23. 23. Questions? David Laniado Gender patterns in a large oline social network 23 / 23

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