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In office chair

Gender in writing

The Gender Genie (as seen on Whatever) analyses passages of text and tries to guess whether the author was male or female. Fun to play with, but it seems to be very confused about my writing. I gave it a blog entry I wrote about touchy-feely emotional stuff and it said I was male. A blog entry about working on my car came out as female. I then fed two of my short stories into it. It said a story told in first person POV by a female protagonist was written by a man, but a story that was mostly dialogue and didn't contain any female characters apparently had a female author.

Just out of interest, I fed this blog entry into it. Today, it seems, I am writing as a man!


Are you saying you would expect a post about emotional stuff to be coded female, and a post about cars to be coded male?

As I understand it, it checks usage of certain words to analyse whether it is male or female written. Not subject.

No doubt your word choices vary depending on what you are writing about, which affects it. Fiction pretty much always comes out odd to the gender genie, because you aren't writing as "you", often, but as your protag.

If you think about how you write about your car (hint: you care about it a great deal, and process it in certain ways.) it might become clearer as to why that one, out of all of them, coded female.
I think you're probably right, it just surprised me a little.

Looking at an analysis of a car-related blog entry (not the same one as before), the words "with" "if" and "not" accounted for most of the feminine score, and the word "the" accounted for most of the masculine score. Total 786:621. None of the texts I've tried have come out massively in favour of one side or the other.
All of the texts I used resulted in a 'male' score.
I used a chapter of my fan-fic (some 700 words) and that resulted in a massive male score (something like 560 female and 1244 male.) I used a lj post (some 480 words)and that resulted in a male score too (something like 490/640.) So ...when I publish my mediocre work, I'll be able to get away with a nom de plume that totally obliterates my real identity ...something like, oh James Dillon-Duncan lol
Judging by our results and those of the posters on Whatever, it seems like the algorithm it uses to guess the sex of the author isn't significantly more accurate than flipping a coin.