Friday, April 23, 2004

Gender Identity Crisis or Crap Science?

In his blog the other day, James referred to a page on the bookblog website that proposes it can identify the gender of the Blogger by analysing the text.

It appears that every one of my last 7 blogs have allegedly been written by a male.

In fact analysing my entire blog gives me a male score of 14,393 as opposed to a female score of 7,416. Which certainly highlights the dangers that can arise when people start working on generalisations of men/women are good at x, or write like y, or think like z etc.

Which in turn leads me to ponder the age old nurture versus nature debate. Maybe my written style appears masculine because I work in a hugely male dominated industry. Although things are getting better; when I started work 10 years ago, I was the first female graduate they had ever had in a design department of around 100; today I sit in a similar sized department and have 7 female colleagues. Which could suggest that it's not so much that women inherently aren't cut out to be engineers, but rather that they haven't been cut out to be engineers.

Then again, I’m not aware that my communication style has been significantly influenced by engineers. After all, I regularly achieve more than a grunt in greeting (early mornings excepted) and frequently use words with more than two syllables…

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