“Gender Genie” saves the day

So about a week ago I read about an author who was having trouble with her hero’s voice… that is, she couldn’t seem to make him actually sound like a man. And then she remembered a great online tool created from an actual study in which some academics discovered men and women do, in fact, speak differently: The Gender Genie. They even came up with an algorithm that predicts whether the person speaking was a man or a woman.

So that got me thinking, “Goodness, I wonder if Alexander sounds like a man or a woman? I think he’s a man, but maybe I’m wrong…” I copied and pasted a series of his chatter into the Gender Genie, provided by the BookBlog. Saints preserve me, the genie thought he was a he! But I only pasted in the first couple hundred words spoken, and the genie says it has a better idea after five-hundred words.

Picture me going through my text and copying my hero’s dialogue from the first 2.5 chapters. Result: my character is a male! But only just so, by two hundred words, more or less. Which worries me. Apparently I also have to take out pronouns and the like, since men tend not to refer to people as much as women do. Apparently men are a little more comfortable talking about objects. Who knew?

Now I know all of you are testing out the tool for yourself, so, you have to tell me… How do your characters fare?

4 thoughts on ““Gender Genie” saves the day

  1. What a neat idea… though I have to admit, I don’t think I really want to try it. I’m sure things would not go right and my characters would all come out with the wrong genders..

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  2. What a neat idea… though I have to admit, I don't think I really want to try it. I'm sure things would not go right and my characters would all come out with the wrong genders..

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  3. Yeah, I don’t think it’s something that should define how one writes characters, but it’s certainly something to think about. It definitely won’t work too well if you’re writing any sort of fantasy or sci-fi, where the whole gender construct may not work the way the algorithm thinks it should… or any fiction that has characters that bend the rules.

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  4. Yeah, I don’t think it’s something that should define how one writes characters, but it’s certainly something to think about. It definitely won’t work too well if you’re writing any sort of fantasy or sci-fi, where the whole gender construct may not work the way the algorithm thinks it should… or any fiction that has characters that bend the rules.

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