Social Networks and Sex Differences

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Social Networks & Sex Differences

Caley Pappas

Carleton University

Assignment 1, PSYC 2001E, Professor Thorngate



The present study investigated possible sex differences in social networks by analyzing an archival measure: names in cell phone contact lists. A piece of paper was circulated around a second year psychology course at Carleton University. 70 females and 26 males we asked to record their sex, the number of male friends they had on their cell phone contact lists, the number of female friends they had on their cell phone contact lists, and the number of others (family, public services, etc.) they had on their cell phone contact lists. The median declared that females had 7 more contacts in their cell phones then males did. While on average, males had 2 more male friend than females did; in contrast, females had 7 more female friends then males did. These results support many research done in social networks. For example, the theory of sex cleavage; tendency to associate with members of one’s own sex.

Social Networks and Sex Differences
As humans, it is natural to form friendships with other people. We establish these friendships as a means of support and stability in our lives. These people help us to solve problems and we often call them in time of need. During this day and age, it is quite common for people to carry cell phones, therefore we thought it justifiable to use the number of friends in cell phone contact lists as an archival measure of their social networks. Some people have small friendship networks; others have large friendship networks. The purpose of my research was to determine the relationship between people’s sex and the size of their social networks.

Social networks and their size can be defined in many different ways. Simon (2007), for example, extracted data from 21,670 members’ profile pages on My Space (social networking website). They sent out a questionnaire to all the...
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