Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gender differences in text messaging

First off, hello all! I'm Steve from UT Linguistics, and I'm happy to be included in your discusssion. I mostly apply computational methods to lingusitic studies, including extracting linguistic and discourse features from dialogues, so hopefully my work will be of interest as we proceed.

Poking around the web while at work, I came across an interesting find on Rashmi Sinha's blog:

http://www.rashmisinha.com/archives/06_06/gender-text-messages.html

The short story here is that men write short messages and women longer ones. Women's messages have a beginning, an end, and sometimes multiple threads within. Men's messages are much shorter and around a single issue.

This blog entry is a summary of work done by Simeon Yates at Sheffield Hallam University, and these data are all UK-based. For all I know, you're all already aware of this work (you do link to Discourse Analysis Online), but in the spirit of sharing, here's a the link:

http://www.shu.ac.uk/schools/cs/commstud/yates.html

Has anyone done work like this on blog entries?

I suppose I should keep this brief, as per my gender. Happy reading!

Comments:
Hi!
I haven't researched blog entries, but I have taken a look at the comments people leave on blogs. I presented it at the AoIR with my co-researcher last year. Basically we found that yes - comments are gendered; women are more facilitative and men more instrumental etc...let me know if you want more info.
netwoman
 
Welcome, Steve! Thanks for posting. Hopefully the blog will liven up again once the school year starts.

There were some news articles about Yates' work back in the fall, which we linked to here, but at the time we couldn't find any of the original data or information (no article, or presentation, was findable online) so this is nice to get a little more academically-minded detail.

As for blogs, along with Tracy's (netwoman's) work, Susan Herring and John Paolillo have a paper in press for Journal of Sociolx, Gender and Gendre Variation in Weblogs, which I haven't entirely read but see that it claims that genre is a better predictor of stylistic features of blog entries than is gender, but there's still some correlation between genre and gender (i.e. more women write diaries, more men write politics).
 
netwoman,

yes, feel free to post more info on this.

lmsq,

thanks for the links!
 
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