Posts Tagged ‘Gender Genie’

Apparently, it’s an easy thing to tell if writing comes from a man or a woman, or at least that the conclusion a couple of guys came up with.

According to this article in the NYT, what’s written will “immediately reveal which sex is doing the writing” even when all references to gender are removed from the text.

… what the gender-identifying algorithm picks up on is that women are apparently far more likely than men to use personal pronouns — ”I,” ”you” and ”she” especially. Men, on the other hand, prefer so-called determiners — ”a,” ”the,” ”that,” ”these” — along with numbers and quantifiers like ”more” and ”some.” What this suggests, according to Moshe Koppel, an author of the Israeli project, is that women are more comfortable talking or thinking about people and relationships, while men prefer to contemplate things.

They’ve come up with a test that can be used to pin the penis on the pen … or whatever …

Take any piece of fiction and do the following:

1. Count the number of words in the document.
2. For each appearance in the document of the following words ADD the number of points indicated:
‘the’ (17)
‘a’ (6)
‘some’ (6)
any number, written in digits or in words (5)
‘it’ (2)

3. For each appearance in the document of the following words SUBTRACT the number of points indicated:
‘with’ (14)
possessives, ending in ‘s’ (5)
possessive pronouns, such as ‘mine’, ‘yours’, ‘his’, ‘hers’, (3)
‘for’ (4)
‘not’ or any word ending with ‘n’t’ (4)

4. If the total score (after adding and subtracting as indicated) is greater than the total number of words in the document, then the author of the document is probably a male. Otherwise, the author is probably a female.

No thanks. That just sounds tedious and I am crap with numbers. Thankfully, however, there’s now a “Gender Genie” online that does the math for you.

Or, as in this case, for me.

I not only write for myself, I also write for others and often AS others, some of whom are men. Because I do this for the sole … and crass … purpose of making money, I’m bound to do a good job of it. That often means shedding my own skin and crawling inside that of peeps paying me to write them, even when it’s hairy and sports bits I can usually only appreciate as a recipient, not a wielder-of.

I am good at this, I know, but wanted to see if the Gender Genie could spot the me in the men I write for … Would that be a GG spotting? … so I submitted a couple of segments of work for analysis.

The first was a few paragraphs from a short story I wrote as myself for myself (Featured in “Papaya … and other seeds”, available for purchase here on this very blog). Not surprisingly, this was the result:

Next, I bunged in a section of a ghost writing gig for a phantom man who had a great story but wouldn’t have been able to write it if the life of all subsequent generations depended upon him getting it down. This is how that one scored:

So, although that Mars/Venus thing happens, it appears when it comes to writing I’m multiplanitary. (I like that more than hermaphrowrite, since I’m girlie beyond redemption …)


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