The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Very interesting website…

Posted by That Other Mike on 23/05/2008

… from BookBlog, stumbled upon by accident via A Secret Chord: Gender Genie.

Inspired by an article and a test in The New York Times Magazine, the Gender Genie uses a simplified version of an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author. Read more at BookBlog, The New York Times, and The Guardian.

Very interesting results to be had – I either show as somewhat female or heavily male, and not always where you might expect.

Basically, it is supposed to work by analysing the preponderance of words which are typically associated in higher numbers with female writers versus those associated with male writers, assigns a value according to the frquency, and then assigns an arbitrary gender to the author based upon how many of each one there are. The “feminine” words seem, at a glance, to be more conjunctions and words referring to the speaker and other people, particularly where they overlap, while the “male” words seem to refer more to places, things and positions.

A non-scientific test using the feature shows Gary as slightly female, although funnily enough Bekki’s post about needing a man shows as strongly male, and Lottie’s post here reads as very strongly male.

I have no idea how accurate this is; probably not much, to be honest. That aside, though, it makes for interesting thinking material, if nothing else.


5 Responses to “Very interesting website…”

  1. ubuntucat said

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in that test. I just tested four blog posts of mine. Two were male. Two were female.

  2. Mike said

    Oh, I don’t. It’s more a talking piece to illustrate gendered language than anything.

  3. I ran some of the female narrative sections of CotR through it — and it came back with “female” 🙂

    Unfortunately, so did the male narrative sections (though considerably less female.)

    Guess this underscores the results you got for me 🙂 In touch with my feminine side (can’t stop touching it, in fact 😉 )

  4. Mike said


    I’m fairly sure now that it’s rather nonsensical, but like I said, it’s a conversation piece more than anything…

  5. Nothing wrong with nonsensical conversation pieces. Without them, I’d be virtually silent 😉

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