And The Winner Is...

screenwriting gender



Actually, you're all very wonderful for having participated in this little experiment, and I thank you all immensely.  I wish I could give each and every one of you prizes, but the pickings are slim.  I've got a first born, a mentally challenged dog, an overweight cat, and an overweight ex I can offer up to anyone who wants 'em... although the last would be more of a curse than a prize.  Regardless, I promise I'll get better sponsors next contest.  (I'm thinkin' chocolate or booze...) 
The guesses have been all over the board, which suggests that gender is very hard to discern from word choice alone, probably too hard for anyone reading to even bother trying, unless the script is god-awful.  This is good news.  We can all go back to embracing the hard truth that we may, in fact, suck, rather than wondering if rejection comes as a result of wearing our gender on our word sleeve.

Although this study was just for fun, it would be interesting to see what would happen if all samples were taken from the same genre, and further, what would happen if samples were taken from a genre typically considered male (horror, action) versus a genre seen as female (romantic comedy, drama).  Would it make a difference?  Who knows.

Without further ado, here are the results of Find The Female.  (If you have no idea what Find The Female is, stop reading immediately and go here to test your skills before reading the results below... or don't.  See if I care.  Cheater.)



Sample page (click for full view) Guesses Actual Gender
Sample 1
  Female 13  Male 5   MALE
Sample 2
   Female 11 Male 7 FEMALE
Sample 3
   Female 9 Male 9 FEMALE
Sample 4
  Female 15 Male 3 FEMALE
Sample 5
  Female 4 Male 14 FEMALE
Sample 6
  Female 7 Male 11 MALE


See?!  All over the place.  

Granted, these results are not scientifically valid in any way, shape, or form.  The simple fact that you knew this was a gender thing before reading the samples, skewed the results from forever being valid.  But screw scientific standards.  We're gonna take 'em on face value.

What do these results mean?  I could do an detailed analysis of, say, why number five was incorrectly viewed as male most of the time, while number one was incorrectly viewed as female, or perhaps a study of why number three was viewed as gender neutral, but it would all be sheer bullshit speculation on my part.  I'd much rather hear from you.  Anyone have any theories?  And to those who actually offered guesses, anyone care to share their reasoning?  Was it word choice?  Subject matter? Characters?  Description?  You talking through your booze soaked ass? Something else?

What I found more intriguing than the results, were the reactions of the writers themselves.  The males were almost gleeful when they were mistaken for women, while the women hated being seen as female.  I have several thoughts on this, but that's a whole different blog post.   (Although perhaps some of the writers might care to weigh in on this.)

Shout-outs to Luis Gonzalez, Loops, and Jen Westcott for getting 5 out of 6 correct.  Bravo!

And a special thank you to all the writers who offered up pages.  You are all brave and wonderful.  Feel free to come forward and claim your page if you so desire.

Funky pic by gioiadeantoniis