For those keeping track, I made two proposals this summer: one to my now-fiancée and one to my dissertation committee. I’m happy to say that both went very well. This isn’t an autobiographical post though. Most of the people who would care are friends on Facebook, and that’s the topic of this post.
The engagement was first and when the news hit my Facebook profile, I was struck by how many more of the commenters were female. Eight people posted on my wall, all female. 42 people “liked” the news, females at twice the rate of males. My Fb friends are gender balanced (48% female, 47% male, 4% not specified) so I wondered what accounted for the difference. Are females more likely to be happy about an engagement? The comments were gender split 14/15, but counting up all 79 responses, 50 were female to 29 male, still almost twice the rate of reply.
When I passed my thesis proposal, the responses seemed mostly male, but once I counted them out it was less clear. Of 13 comments, 8 female and 5 male. Of 50 likes, 30 female and 20 male. So of all 63 responses, 38 (60%) female and 25 (40%) male. Are women just more supportive? (Or more specifically, my female Fb friends?) Hard to say. It is still striking that there were 8 wall posts from women on the engagement and none from men (and none from anyone on the less romantic proposal). Maybe women are more likely to make that stronger public support (that is the wall post) of love? Dunno, but I do know I managed to avoid working the last 20 minutes while still doing work-like activities.