Gender Matters

by Esther Schindler

This site claims to identify if the author is male or female based on writing samples (of 500 words or more). It says I'm male, in 3 of 3 samples, but then I never did fit the gender stereotypes.

It's interesting, though, to see which words it chooses as "male" versus "female" -- and to note that it seems to be right 2/3 of the time. With, if, and not are female; around, what, and more are male.


Words: 2088

Female Score: 1646
Male Score: 5351

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Stefan Rubner, 2003-12-15

Words: 945

(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 932
Male Score: 1247

Schweppes, 2003-12-15

Are you guys submitting fiction or nonfiction?

Esther Schindler, 2003-12-15


Stefan Rubner, 2003-12-15

Interesting ...

I submitted a blog entry that I had written about a trip to sydney with my son.
If I flag it as non-fiction it scores as female (Female Score: 641
Male Score: 521), but as a blog entry it scores male (Female Score: 389 Male Score: 862).

Justin Knol, 2003-12-15

non-fiction... will try with fiction switched on :-)

Schweppes, 2003-12-15

Tried fiction, non-fiction, and blog entries, words from 300 to 900... 590 female to 1315 male; 214 female to 359 male; 390 female to 739 male; 743 female to 1347 male... Male in all attempts... And I *thought* I was a girlie-girl.

Libby Schwarz, 2003-12-16

You ladies must be hiding something. :-)

Volker Weber, 2003-12-16

Maybe techie writing is inherently "male"? If so, I wonder if that's the cause or effect of the lower perecentage of women in IT professions.

Though I'm not sure what they expect. Something like, "I found this *darling* little performance optimizer! It goes _so_ well with my curtains!"

Esther Schindler, 2003-12-16

I have tried a couple of different pieces and for some I get a female score if I specify non-fiction, but a male scored if I mark it as a blog entry.

These pieces that score differently are blog entries that are personal, rather than technical.

All the technical blog entires are unerringly categorised as male, no matter which category is selected.

I think that tech writing tends to have a very direct and impersonal tone, so presumably more likely to score male, based on their methodology.

It is a pity that the link to the PDF describing the algorithm is 404'd.

Justin Knol, 2003-12-16

A recent technical article I wrote for a magazine comes out thus:

Words: 1904
Female Score: 2754
Male Score: 2051


I'll have to dig deep for some fiction... ;-)b

Ben Poole, 2003-12-16

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