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July 17, 2014

Oversharing on Facebook can cost you your job, especially if you don't have your privacy settings right, but even something as mundane (and public) as your profile photo can hamper your career, according to a new study. The problem arises when young women choose sexy photos to represent themselves on Facebook and other social media. And the problem isn't (necessarily) ogling male coworkers.

"Adolescent girls and young adult women who post sexualized profile photos will likely be judged by their female peers as being less physically and socially attractive and as less competent," report researchers at Oregon State University-Cascades and U.C. Santa Cruz. This is important, the researchers add, because "social media is where the youth are," and young women get mixed messages about portraying themselves as sexy.

The study didn't exactly look at coworkers. The researchers created two Facebook accounts for a fictional woman named Amanda Johnson, the only difference between the accounts being the profile photos — sexy "Amanda" is on the left, non-sexy "Amanda" is on the right (these are the prom photo and senior high school portrait of a real woman who agreed to be used in the study, so we've partially obscured her face):

A group of about 120 female volunteers age 13 to 25 were randomly assigned to evaluate one of the two Amandas on three attributes: physical attractiveness (I think she is pretty), social attractiveness (I think she could be a friend of mine), and task competence (I have confidence in her ability to get a job done). Non-sexy Amanda scored higher in all three categories.

Elizabeth Daniels, the study's lead author, says she expected the lower competence scores, but was surprised that the women rated the sexy Facebook user less attractive. "Because there's so much pressure in the culture for women to be sexy, I actually expected that maybe she would be considered more attractive because she was sexualized," she told The Oregonian. "But that's not what I found."

"This is a clear indictment of sexy social media photos," Daniels added. The study, titled "The Price of Sexy," was published online in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture earlier this week. --Peter Weber

4:03 p.m. ET
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Audiobooks are the fastest-growing format in the book business today, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sales in the U.S. and Canada jumped 21 percent in 2015 from the previous year, according to the Audio Publishers Association. Revenue from audiobook downloads in the U.S. grew 38 percent last year from 2014, while revenue from e-books actually declined by 11 percent. "People listen to audiobooks while traveling, exercising, gardening, and relaxing at home," the Journal explains. "They switch devices from one activity to the next, listening on smartphones, tablets, computers, and MP3 players." And audiobook readers are spending a lot of time listening. "Many, many millions of people give us on average two hours a day," said Donald Katz, founder of audiobook market leader Audible. The Week Staff

3:58 p.m. ET

Higher-paid CEOs underperform compared with their lower-paid counterparts, according to a study of 429 public companies by research firm MSCI. The average shareholder returns for firms with the lowest-paid CEOs were 39 percent higher over a 10-year period than those for firms with the highest-paid CEOs. "In fact," the MSCI report states, "even after adjusting for company size and sector, companies with lower total summary CEO pay levels more consistently displayed higher long-term investment returns." The Week Staff

3:46 p.m. ET
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Questions of Russian hacking were raised once again Friday when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a group that raises money for House Democratic candidates, admitted that it too had been hacked. The committee's announcement came just a week after thousands of Democratic National Committee emails were posted on WikiLeaks as a result of a hack suspected to have been sanctioned by the Russian government. The Guardian reported that "intrusion investigators" say the hack at the DCCC looks a lot like the DNC breach.

The committee said it is "cooperating with federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation." At this point, it remains unclear exactly who was behind the hack, though it's believed to have taken place from "at least June 19 to June 27, though it may have been longer," Reuters reported. That would imply the DCCC breach occurred just days after the DNC first publicly announced it had been hacked. Becca Stanek

3:33 p.m. ET
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If you wish to give your child a fairy-tale bedroom has no price ceiling, here's your chance. The Fantasy Air Balloon Bed and Sofa (approximately $25,100) turns bedtime into a joyride and dreams into fanciful journeys. Created by a Portuguese company that also manufactures beds shaped like seashells, rockets, and 1960s VW Microbuses, this piece features a fabric top that appears to be a balloon rising through the ceiling, plus a base made from a solid wood frame wrapped in hand-woven wicker. The bed includes a remote-controlled light and sound system that can generate additional magic. The Week Staff

2:36 p.m. ET
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Mike Pence must've briefly blanked on the fact that he's Donald Trump's running mate Friday when he decided to go after President Obama for "name-calling." Pence apparently found it distasteful that Obama dared to suggest Trump is a "demagogue" during his Wednesday address to the Democratic National Convention, telling conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: "I don't think name-calling has any place in public life, and I thought that was unfortunate that the president of the United States would use a term like that."

Obama, however, didn't even directly attach the word "demagogue" to Trump's name — a precaution Trump certainly didn't take when he dubbed Hillary Clinton as "Crooked Hillary," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as "Low Energy Jeb," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as "Lyin' Ted," Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine as "Corrupt Kaine," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as "Liddle Marco," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as "Goofy Elizabeth," and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as "Crazy Bernie." Becca Stanek

2:07 p.m. ET
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A Georgia appeals court ruled that a man who took pictures up a woman's skirt did not break any law, The Washington Post reports. Brandon Lee Gary admitted to "upskirting" at a store, but the court ruled that a law that prohibits photographing people "in any private place" means a physical location, not a part of the body. A dissenting judge argued that a woman should be able to expect privacy "in the area under her skirt." The Week Staff

1:22 p.m. ET

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine contradicted reports Friday from both his camp and running mate Hillary Clinton's that he'd come around to supporting Clinton's stance against the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment.

Just a few days ago, Bloomberg reported that Kaine will support Clinton's plan to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding from being used for abortion, and which Clinton contends is "making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights."

However, when CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked Kaine about that change of heart Friday, he denied it had ever happened. "I have been for the Hyde Amendment, and I have not changed my position on that," said Kaine, a Catholic who has said he's personally opposed to abortion.

So, what gives? A Kaine-Clinton spokesperson's comment to The Wall Street Journal this week might clear up the seeming contradictions. The spokesperson said that while Kaine is "not personally for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment," he is "committed to carrying out Secretary Clinton's agenda."

It seems the Democratic duo has agreed — to disagree. Becca Stanek

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