Publication date: January 2020
Source: Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 102
Author(s): Dennis Rosenberg, Rita Mano, Gustavo S. Mesch
Health-related use of the internet and social media entails a combination of searching for health information and participating in health-related activities. While searching for health information has been extensively studied, the internet sociology literature has focused very little attention on participation in online health activities. Moreover, the gender differences in health participation have never been studied. The goal of this study is to fill these gaps. Lifestyle/exposure theory was used to test three hypotheses regarding gender differences in health participation on social media. The absolute monopoly hypothesis posits female dominance in the domain. The areas of control hypothesis posits male dominance in the domain. Finally, according to the democracy hypothesis no gender differences will emerge. The sample consisted of the Israeli social media users (N = 803). The results of logistic regression analyses provide partial support for both the democracy (to a greater extent) and the absolute monopoly (to a lower extent) hypotheses. The results imply that the gender divide in health participation on social media is small.