Have you ever read an article and wondered about the author’s gender? I have; then I check the byline only to be stymied with an indeterminate first name, such as “Terry” or a “Lynn” or merely their first and second initials.
Towards that end, I recently stumbled upon an interesting website, The Gender Guesser. The concept is simple: Paste some writing in the box, select the genre, and click submit. The Gender Guesser will proclaim the likely sex of the author.
Of course I needed to test it. In submission after submission, The Gender Guesser said I was a dude. What a relief!
That caused me to wonder if I could write like a girl. Though I’ve yet to try, it would be an interesting exercise. Given how the Gender Guesser works, I think I can fool it. This would not happen by tweaking my style or embracing my feminine side, but by mechanically editing my work to remove certain words and insert others that the Gender Guesser deems indicate femininity.
I did, however, continue submitting my own work and finally found ones that fooled the Gender Guesser. Check out the following three blog posts:
What do you think? The results may surprise you; it did me. Are you ready? “Waiting for Sand” is essentially gender neutral (tipped ever so slightly toward male). The authorship of “Apphia the Unknown” is decidedly male, while “Writing Contests” was flagged as female. Who would have thought?
As far as this post, the Gender Guesser confirms its author is male.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.