Christensen Low may be known to some of you since he often makes comments on the Scroll and is a passionate egalitarian. He has an idea for some research which we can’t accomodate on this blogsite, but maybe some would like to email Christensen and discuss the idea.
I have long been wanting to do this sociological project that might reveal people’s perception of gender in writing. Basically, it would be where there would be a bank of writing samples from as many people as possible in which they would write about possibly three different topics (short essays). One topic would be on what is generally seen as a “men’s” topic, another on a “women’s” topic and one that would be neutral. Then, participants would read the essays as they are randomly accessed, and participant judge whether the writer was a woman or a man. It would be interesting to see what results that type of project would produce. Would it show that men and women do think and write differently? Can people tell gender from the person’s “voice” when there is no previous knowledge about the person’s gender?
I have long seen that there seems to be a “gender confusion” when it comes to the written word. A lot of assumptions. I think such a project will show this confusion…and that, basically, men and women do think and express themselves in similar ways. I have long heard that men and women approach topics differently. But I don’t think this is reality and it would be interesting to see if such a project would show that men and women are basically not that different.
I do think that, generally speaking, women tend to be socialized into expressing their emotions in many situations and men are socialized into being more analytical. This comes out in relationships in which women tend to want to be listened to (their emotions heard) while men tend to want to solve problems and can have problems listening to emotions. However, I think that these are learned traits, and men can be taught to listen better (and express their deeper emotions) and that women can learn to be problem-solvers. I think a project like this would show that societies have these broad generalities about the genders that do lead to “differences”…but that bascially, men and women are only socialized into differences, and that there are many in both camps who break these supposed norms. God created us to possess the fruits of the spirit…and not on a gender-based selection.
If any readers would like to participate in Christensen’s experiment please email him on email@example.com