Juliana, as many could testify, was the progenitor of this seminal idea, in which she finds (around here somewhere) a modicum of humanity. In fact, to Juliana, being a full time transvestite, it was obvoius that she had to work hard to get Pat around the idea of a new plan, to convince Pat as to the shrewdness of the plan. Eventually, though, Juliana took off her dress, donned a tee shirt and shorts, so the two of them went down to the pitch to play a round of rugby.

vs.

I felt that if she should even move, She Wolf would would surely die, if Hunter Bob, where ever he was, should do that for which he came prepared, pulling his large gun’s trigger for no other reason than to take away her life. For myself, I see no purpose in such an act. As if! He clearly felt differently. Helicopter diving and swaying back on approach, her killer stepped gingerly halfway out into thin air, aimed, fired, and laughed while her running form collapsed into gyrating motion of Grey spewing awful blood onto the virgin snow.

Which is written by a man, which by a woman? And more importantly, what makes each passage gendered (if in fact it is gendered)?

Well, according to the Gender Genie, these passages are very gendered. The results of Gender Genie’s mojo:

The story about two gender ambivalent individuals deciding to join a game of rugby. Gender Genie classifies the author as male, with a female score of 27 and a male score of 228.

The story about a man with a large firearm hunting down and killing a wolf. Gender Genie classifies the author as Female, with a female score of 225 and a male score of 32.

Try entering these passages into the Genie and note which words matter. Some are pretty obvious, some not.

Comments

  1. #1 sailor
    December 17, 2008

    I agree with computer about which was written by a man and woman. were we right?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 17, 2008

    I wrote them both, but with the intention of fooling the machine. Which worked, but for strange reasons that I did not expect.

  3. #3 Brad
    December 17, 2008

    Hmm, it shows the first passage as being male 27 to 228 for me. I didn’t have any strong opinion as to gender of author for either piece, but I’m convinced I’d read the short story or novella of which the first bit is an excerpt.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    December 17, 2008

    Brad: Thanks for the correct. I’ve adjusted the score. The original score I had written in (maleness = 32) was before I messed with the text to make it super male.

  5. #5 Anne Gilbert
    December 18, 2008

    Since I’m writing a Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals, and am on several e-mail lists where the Gender Genie has been discussed, I decided to conduct an (ongoing) experiment. I have submitted samples of my own writing to Gender Genie. This includes some sections of the aforementioned Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals. But I have also sent some of my blog entries to this same Gender Genie. Guess what? My fiction is “female”, but not by much; it runs about 60% “female” to 40% “male”. But if I send my blog entries (as nonfiction) the percentages are reversed, and I’m “male”. Supposedly, the entries are based the presence or absence of certain words, and not the ones you think. Hint: it’s not the style of writing that “gives you away”, but the frequency of certain predetermined words. In any case, what gives here? That’s what I’d like to know.
    Anne G

  6. #6 CanadaGoose
    December 18, 2008

    As soon as I read “seminal” I assumed it was written by a man. I didn’t read the rest.

    Just my reaction.

  7. #7 Greg laden
    December 18, 2008

    The woe seminal was not noticed by the genie. Nor were the two or three male anatomy related terms that I used.

  8. #8 Epinephrine
    December 18, 2008

    I also played with the genie. One thing I noticed was that it’s a better detector of intended audience than of author sex. (I hate the use of the word gender, we’re talking about man/woman here, right? If we’re talking about gender roles I can take it back, but it seems to me we’re trying to determine whether a man or woman wrote the passage.)

    Passages about female characters with female themes tend to output female authorship, regardless of the sex of the author. Presumably there is some connection between the author’s choice of subject and the author’s sex (and I’d be willing to bet that more women write about female characters than do male authors), but that’s a pretty lame classification system (is the passage about females? Check! It’s likely a female author!).

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