Does Your Browser History Reveal Your Gender?

Okay, here’s something totally weird: I ran across a site that analyzes your browser history and uses a mathematical algorithm to identify your gender. According to this algorithm, I am male;
Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 6%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 94%

Hrm. Do you suppose this is the reason my email boxes are all jammed with ads to increase my penis size? How about you? Does your browser history predict that you are male or female?

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About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Does Your Browser History Reveal Your Gender?

  1. Bob O'H says:

    I have a 37% likelihood of being female, apparently. This is my breakdown:
    Site Male-Female Ratio
    youtube.com 1
    imageshack.us 0.87
    guardian.co.uk 1.33
    jstor.org 0.9
    telegraph.co.uk 1.5
    acer.com 1.04
    nature.com 1.04
    wikiquote.org 1.02
    cambridge.org 1
    sciencemag.org 1.04
    scienceblogs.com 1.41
    clinicaltrials.gov 0.67
    I’ve no idea I was at the Torygraph recently – it’s not a site I frequent very often.

  2. afarensis says:

    Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 42%
    Likelihood of you being MALE is 58%
    Site Male-Female Ratio
    google.com
    0.98
    usbank.com
    0.85
    sciencedaily.com
    0.96
    hhs.gov
    0.67
    icanhascheezburger.com
    1.04
    stltoday.com
    1.08
    scienceblogs.com
    1.41
    physorg.com
    1.6

  3. Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 60%
    Likelihood of you being MALE is 40%
    Site Male-Female Ratio
    google.com
    0.98
    yahoo.com
    0.9
    youtube.com
    1
    wikipedia.org
    1.08
    startribune.com
    1.13
    dexknows.com
    0.79
    dexonline.com
    0.77

  4. Peggy says:

    I have a 67% likelihood of being female, having recently visited the female-dominated Myspace, Livejournal, Facebook, Current.com and Southwest Airlines.
    I can kind of get why social networking sites have more female than male visitors, but it seems odd that the male-female ratio for southwest.com is 0.77.

  5. Wendy says:

    It guessed my gender correctly, which didn’t really surprise me, as I spend a lot of time at knitting/crocheting websites (although none of them turned up on my “list”). I’ve fooled other gender-guessing internet thingies before, but apparently my browsing habits are girly. 😀
    On the whole, though, I find myself deeply unimpressed with this system, since the websites that turned up on my list are not at all representative of where I spend my time:
    Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 78%
    Likelihood of you being MALE is 22%
    Site Male-Female Ratio
    yahoo.com
    0.9
    mapquest.com
    0.83
    amazon.com
    0.9
    craigslist.org
    1.13
    webkinz.com
    0.85
    ebaumsworld.com
    1
    michaels.com
    0.47
    netzero.net
    0.89
    I’ve been to netzero and ebaumsworld exactly ONE time each, and none of the other sites are ones I visit regularly, except Amazon. Well, and Webkinz, because my son goes there a lot. But none of the sites where I spend most of my time turned up here.
    I will also say that I’m laughing about Mapquest being considered a girly website (unless I’m misreading the ratio thingy) . . . is it really true that men still won’t ask for directions, even from the internet? 😉

  6. Sonia Brock says:

    I have 73% chance of being male which a 71 year old retired lady is kind of uplifting.

  7. Ian says:

    GS – Why on Earth did you subject yourself to this in the first place?!! I flat refuse to encourage dumb (and in this case sexist) surveys as a matter of principle.
    Bob OH – “it’s not a site I frequent very often”
    Do you want to rephrase that? It’s too early in the morning for my mind to be played with so cruelly!