Women more prone to jealousy on Facebook

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Women are more prone to romantic jealousy spurred by Facebook posts on their boyfriend's wall than men, a new study has found.

Their jealousy increases particularly if they think other people can see that their relationship may be in trouble, researchers from the University of Alabama said.

As many as 226 heterosexual college-age men and women in the US were told to imagine that they had discovered a photo of their partner with a person of the opposite sex on the social networking website Facebook, 'My Health News Daily' reported.

The study participants, during the hypothetical scenario, could view the privacy settings of their boyfriend's or girlfriend's Facebook account and thus could see whether the photo was visible to others on Facebook. Women reported greater feelings of jealousy when they imagined the scenario than did men. They rated their level of jealousy as a six out of a possible nine, compared to a four out of nine for men.

Both women and men reported the greatest level of jealousy if the photo's privacy settings meant that the photo could notbe viewed by other people on Facebook - an indication that their romantic interest was trying to hide something.

If the photo could be seen by other people on Facebook, men's level of jealousy dropped, while women's remained high. Women were also more hurt by the scenario than men if there were relatively few photos of them with their partner on Facebook.

"These findings suggest that the public nature of potential infidelity may influence emotions differently for men and women," the researchers said. "Women may experience more negative [emotions] when they believe that others are able to view lack of evidence of being in a committed relationship," they said.

Other studies have found that people who spend more time on Facebook report greater levels of romantic jealously, and more frequent viewing of their partner's Facebook profile, than people who spend less time on the social networking site. According to researchers Facebook also presents people with opportunities to misinterpret information.

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