Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gender Confusion

My friend Dandypratt sent me a link to GenderAnalyzer, an automatic tool that guesses whether a given website is written by a man or a woman. It's 76% sure that I'm a man. Of course I went through and plugged in every blog I could think of. A couple interesting results:
  • GenderAnalyzer is 64% sure that FoxyJ is a man. Wouldn't that make for an interesting twist in our story? Boy, we really fooled you all, didn't we?
  • GenderAnalyzer is only 58% sure that Samantha Stevens is a woman, noting that she's fairly gender neutral--apparently Tolkien Boy needs to do a better job of impersonating a female.
  • GenderAnalyzer is 98% sure that Theric is a woman. I know that Th. often posts comments using his wife's Blogger ID, but has Lady Steed secretly been writing her husband's blog all this time?
Apparently the trial run has proven the tool to be less accurate than anticipated; there's some speculation as to why here, as well as plans to try to improve the process. I'm curious to see if they're able to make this work accurately, or if it ends up being the case that there simply isn't that significant a difference between men's and women's writing.

26 comments:

Th. said...

.

I knew it!

Or, more clearly, I suspected that would happen. Although 98% seems to make me an outlier....

I remember a college course where we talked about means of guessing an author's gender (something to to with preposition counts or something) and suspecting I would be found female.

And so I have been, so I have been.

Abelard Enigma said...

It's only 66% certain that I am a man.

Th. said...

.

Don't feel back. I'm 15% more female than my wife.

Th. said...

.

Errr.

Misspelling 'bad' as 'back' makes me worried my mind is not even participating today.

skylark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skylark said...

do men and women write in fundamentally different ways? an interesting question, that. and what does it mean if writing is gender-neutral? because apparently mine is. (on one blog they're 55% sure that i'm a female, on another they're equally sure that i'm a male.)

for the time being, the accuracy of the GenderAnalyzer is very low (53% according to the post you linked to). i must say i'm not surprised: something about the low orthographical & grammatical accuracy makes me suspect a certain carelessness in the methodology as well...

Mrs. Hass-Bark said...

It's 65% certain I'm a man. If that's the case, I should definitely stop buying all those, ahem, feminine products.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

We guess http://athornyway.blogspot.com is written by a man (51%), however it's quite gender neutral.

Yay! I'm androgynous.

Mr. Fob said...

Th.: I'm actually more surprised by my 76% masculine than by your 98% feminine. Xaviere Gauthier talks about l'ecriture de femme as something outside the traditional masculine discourse, and your writing style is definitely outside of traditional discourse. Me, though, I guess I'm just a tool of patriarchy after all. Sigh. It sucks to be a living symbol of oppression.

Abe: I've never met you and I'm at least 76% sure.

Skylark: Good point about the tell-tale signs of overall quality there. I think that gender-neutral writing is a sign that one is the forerunner of the bright, gender-neutral future of the human race. But I could be wrong.

Mrs. H-B: Why don't you try it and see what happens?

Craig: I'm so jealous.

Abelard Enigma said...

Abe: I've never met you and I'm at least 76% sure.

Are you 76% sure I'm a male? Or 76% sure you've never met me?

Mr. Fob said...

Now I'm not sure of anything!

kadusey said...

It's 92% sure I'm a woman.

Mr. Fob said...

I'll vouch for you, Kadusey. I mean, even having met you I can't say I'm 100% sure because there are some really good female impersonators out there, but I'm at least 99%.

Rebecca said...

It's 68% sure I'm a man, and 57% sure Spencer is a woman.

Mr. Fob said...

Waitasecond... I thought you didn't have a blog anymore. Are you hiding something?

Rebecca said...

Nope - my old blog.

Mr. Fob said...

Suuuuure.

Rebecca said...

You caught me - it's my super-secret blog dedicated to fighting crime and making the world safe for democracy.

Mr. Fob said...

I'm so going to tell everyone. Especially that one reporter who's always trying to prove that you and Superblog are one and the same.

Rebecca said...

I will just wear my glasses and no one will ever be able to tell.

Mr. Fob said...

Ooh, good plan.

Th. said...

.

MrF: Hahahaha!

Mr. Fob said...

Go ahead, mock my pain.

Th. said...

.

I was referring to what you said to me earlier.

(wv:comicali)

Spencer said...

I think I was 4% less man than my wife on our blogs.

I got an RSS BrainChipFeed to "Rebecca's MIND BLOG." It beams her thoughts directly into your head. The only bad side effect is that you sometimes stand up in a restaraunt and start singing "The tailor Motel Kamvzol!"

Actually, that's been happening a lot lately, even when she's not blogging.

Mr. Fob said...

Th.: I was too, though possibly not the same thing I'd said earlier.

Spencer: Where can I get that BrainChipFeed?