Facebook Messages Reveal Your Gender

Do men and women communicate differently? Apparently, they do.

The words we choose to use in our Facebook messages are enough to give away our gender 90 percent of the time, according to researchers from Stony Brook University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The international team conducted a computational analysis of the words used by more than 65,000 consenting Facebook users in some 10 million messages.

The results:

  • Gender influences the way people express themselves on Facebook. Women use words that are warmer and more agreeable than those used by men, such as "wonderful" and "thankful" vs. "battle" and "enemy."

  • Women mentioned friends, family and social life more often, whereas men swore more, used angrier and argumentative language and discussed objects more than people.

  • On average, women used language that was characteristic of compassion and politeness while men were more hostile and impersonal.

  • But even with all the warm fuzzy words, women used slightly more assertive language than men.

So what? The team says that the findings illustrate nuances and differences in language between men and women that have not been previously revealed.

The study findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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