The Gender Genie

// 19 April 2007

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The Gender Genie is a website on the Internet claiming to be able to determine with 80% accuracy whether a piece of work has been written by a man or a woman.

So, is your style of writing intrinsically determined by your gender? All you have to do is copy and paste a writing sample into the text box, and click enter, and you’ll find out whether your writing is permeated with sugar and spice and all things nice, or if you string sentences together like you have a moustache impressive enough to rival the head of a sweeping brush.

Having conducted extensive studies into the use of language by men and women, Israeli researchers developed an algorithm which claims to be able to determine the sex of an author by analysing a writing sample. According to the findings, women favour the use of personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, etc), whereas men prefer words that identify nouns (a, the, that, etc) and quantify them (one, two, more, etc).

One major flaw of the programme, however, seems to be the assumption that women are self-centred, and preoccupied with personal relationships, whereas men can deal with more objective, quantitative information, when of course these modes of writing are not mutually exclusive to a specific gender.

But why not give it a try? According to The Gender Genie the writer of this blog is female, which clears up any confusion, so thanks.

Photo by caultron, shared under a Creative Commons License

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