Gender Analyzer

By Legal Eagle

According to the site genderanalyzer.com, this site has an 82% likelihood of being written by a man. Whereas Tim Blair’s site has a 72% chance of being written by a female. Hmm. I’m thinking the text classifier needs a little work.

I’m wondering what aspect of our writing makes it more “male”?!?

26 Comments

  1. Posted November 23, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Because the classifier has been “trained”, and female bloggers are more likely than male bloggers to write about personal issues (and fluffy kittens), your (plural) issues-oriented posts will tip the scales towards guessing a male wrote them.

    In a previous life, I wrote software used for psychological and psychiatric assessment for use by clinicians, so I have a darn good idea just how disjunctive classifications based on gender, sexual orientation, and masculine/feminine traits are.

    It is worth noting that as a general rule, highly intelligent males show more “feminine” traits (like nurturing), while highly intelligent females show more “masculine” traits (such as aggressive defence of a point of view). Thus, running my software on myself, it said I was more masculine than feminine, and more feminine than my then-wife (who was more feminine than masculine).

    I also noted that a related site (http://www.typealyzer.com) which tries to guess Myers-Briggs types classifies both skepticlawyer (which should have SOME multiple-personality issues) and myself as INTJ (Scientist) types. This is wrong for me, as I’m not a J, put an EXTREME P.

    What WAS interesting was that using the “gender analyzer” on the separate articles within skepticlawyer.com.au (by passing across http://skepticlawyer.com.au/author/skepticlawyer/ and http://skepticlawyer.com.au/author/legal-eagle/) gave scores of 75% and 72%, both significantly lower than the 82% for both of you combined. Similarly, the type analyzer, while assessing the site as a whole as INTJ, assessed each of you (LE and SL) individually as ISTJ. This is a HUGE difference, as the “middle two” in the Myers-Briggs are biggies and tend not to change during a lifetime.

    Interpreting psychometrics (or even choosing what to look at) correctly is a darn difficult art!

  2. DeusExMacintosh
    Posted November 23, 2008 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I imagine that legal and technical writing such as this are ‘obviously’ male, gossip (a la Blair) is supposedly female.

  3. Posted November 24, 2008 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    But, but we have posts about babies, and pregnancy, and motherhood… and stuff!

    /ripped off

    On the Myers Briggs thingy, I had to do one of those tests for a merchant bank (which shall remain nameless) a few years ago. I came out as INTJ. Apparently this means I dislike sloppy thinking πŸ™‚

  4. Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Well, it got Ozrisk right – 91% male. I must be a stereotype.
    On the MBTI thing – I was (apparently) INTJ as well.

  5. Posted November 24, 2008 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Personally, I like the DDLI version of the MBTI, because it let’s P’s answer comfortably (and therefore more correctly) by giving options for “no preference” and how strong your preference is. AND it indicates where it may have got confused.

    A webbed version is at http://4np.net/ddli/
    C code (and a pre-compiled Microsoft executable in a zip file) available at http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/psychology/alt.psychology.personality/ddli/

  6. Posted November 24, 2008 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Very interesting… I’ve come here at one remove from normblog, via Tim Blair. I’m 76% likely to be a guy too. Dave Bath, your comment outlines exactly what I thought about their probable criteria, and it is just ridiculous. I ended up wasting ages running loads of blogs through that gender thing, and even the fashion ones came up x% “male.” The only convincing female score I got was on a site called Thumbelina Fashionista. And I do write about my kids too.

    My Myers-Briggs type is E/INTP, & that typelayzer site got it right – but why would that be gender-related?

    And why do we even care? Because all these formulae were made by people…

  7. Posted November 24, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Ms Baroque – it seems the type analyzer has been more carefully designed and researched; the gender one must have a partly busted algorithm. Well, that’s all I can think of, anyway.

  8. John Greenfield
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    SL

    I picked you as a classic INTJ! πŸ™‚ I am – apparently – a classic ENTP, with flourished of ENTJ. The ENT is non-negotiable.

  9. John Greenfield
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    We have strong indicators that http://larvatusprodeo.net/ is written by a man (100%).

    Won’t the wymyn is the Sapphosphere go nuts! Or should that be ova?

  10. Posted November 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The gender one picked my blog (http://www.intelligentdesign.com.au/blog) correctly as being written (mostly) by a male, but the Typealyzer picks me as INTP when I consistently come out as ENFP in MB-type tests.

    I have always thought a major weakness in the Myers-Briggs test is that it contains too many binary assumptions. For example, you cannot apparently be both practical and idealistic. And many of the questions I would answer diametrically oppositely depending on the circumstances.

  11. pedro
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    SL, I remember being told that the large majority of seniour solicitors in big law firms are INTJ. That was at a firm conference for a top tier firm and we all did the test. Sure enough something like 70% of the 100 or so of us at the conference were INTJ. I was ENTP and the HR people running the test wondered what i was doing working there.

    Of course, it’s probably all crap.

  12. John Greenfield
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Paul

    Follow Dave Bath’s link above to the modified MBTI which addresses those issues.

    Legal Eagle

    If I ever wanted to use a solicitor I would pray s/he was an INTJ. If they were an ENTP like me no way in hell would I hire them! πŸ™‚

  13. pedro
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    LE, I think the personality type for barristers is WANK.

    I definitely have trouble fitting in with large firms. All the rules bug me and the petty politics make me retch.

    John, I wouldn’t hire an ENTP like you either. πŸ˜‰

  14. John Greenfield
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    pedro

    Hmmmmm…I don’t know how to take that. Tell me, what are your employment needs? πŸ˜‰

  15. Jacques Chester
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Can we stop talking about MBTI? It’s got about as much scientific validity as astrology charts.

  16. Posted November 24, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    My site was 82% male probability. Whew! i thought I was going to have to join one of those stupid men’s groups to recover my manhood. πŸ™‚ .

  17. Posted November 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Dave – I was more masculine than feminine, and more feminine than my then-wife (who was more feminine than masculine).

    Um, you guys must have an interesting collection of rubber items and costumes. πŸ™‚

    Jacques – It’s got about as much scientific validity as astrology charts.

    ???? You mean Jonathon’s been lying to me every Sunday? He was telling me it’s going to get better. πŸ™

  18. Posted November 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m a barrister and an INTJ… so there you go πŸ™‚

    I’ve been reading around on MB, Jacques, and it does seem that – when well-designed, as Dave’s links are – that it is a bit more useful than astrology. I suspect quite a few of the tests floating around are fairly rubbish, though.

  19. Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Adrien:… no rubber… thankfully… but I ended up a single custodial father, and the father-figure to the son my ex had a few years after we separated. Oh… my bad… she was more masculine than feminine, but less masculine than I was feminine. And like I said, those personality traits have little to do with gender at an individual level – only with stereotypes and NOTHING to do with sexual preference.

    Jacques: The MBTI is one of the more useful ones…. How many xNTP geeks get “promoted” to management (needs a “J” to be comfortable making Yes/No sign or not) and become MISERABLE. But a manager of xNTP’s NEEDS to be NT so they can communicate at all (like the PHB can’t).

    LE: The inner two MBTI’s (N/S T/F) are more stable over time and circumstance.

    General: The gender typing site said they had to toss out their rules and go back to their original training set. Reporting back whether the weighting got it right or not helps adjust those weightings (and a whack on the head for being wrong has more effect than a pat on the head for being right). Choose the wrong training set and that type of AI is screwed… like training to choose cutlery but never offering soup or dry biscuits.

    For lawyers, I reckon it depends on the role. P’s to develop odd strategies, J’s to decide whether to sue or not…. But that typer by looking at prose? Dumb! No testing the internal life that you need to decide a type.

  20. DeusExMacintosh
    Posted November 25, 2008 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    There’s no point in me doing intelligence/aptitude tests as I invariably get the result I’m most interested in at the time. And a different one the next time.

  21. Posted November 25, 2008 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I’m only 66% male. I wonder if the 34% female, can be attributed to the Barbie Dolls?

  22. Sinclair Davdson
    Posted November 25, 2008 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Its that females and scifi column – all that talk about busty heroines confused the computer. πŸ™‚

  23. Posted December 2, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    DXMac – I try incredibly hard to resist the urge to “game” tests like that. I think it’s possible, but it requires a good degree of self-awareness.

    I think MB tests are reasonably interesting and a much more useful way of classifying personality types than, say, astrology. For example, I can read any star sign and find ways it applies to me – but there are many MB types which clearly differ from me in significant respects.

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