Professor on the Evolutionary Psychology of Female Selfies


Dr Khandis Rose Blake of The University of New South Wales has penned an opinion piece discussing potential explanations of girls and women posting “sexy selfies”.

She questions the claim that objectification and oppression are responsible for selfie culture,  noting that the prevalence of ‘sexy selfies’ is highest in economically developed countries.

It is likely part of the evolutionary game, she argues, and girls and women actively understand the role they are playing.

“Sexy selfies say much less about gender discrimination in societies – or about the women and girls who take them – than about the nature of the economies they live in,” she says.

Having studied tens of thousands of social media posts from around the world, Blake found that gender inequality was a poor predictor of selfie taking among females.

Instead, selfies were found to make women feel “empowered, assertive and in control”, though seeking validation is also a possible influence.

Selfies enable women to climb the social ladder, either by gaining followers or by attracting a partner on a dating app.

“In evolutionary terms, these kinds of behaviours are completely rational, even adaptive.

“Telling young women to stop posting sexy selfies is like asking them to forgo the pot of capital that youth bestows on them, even though they know its value diminishes with time.”

Read more here.

Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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