Could This Be Why Hillary Lost?

The Gender Genie website was developed using a thesis submitted to the Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

They used an algorithm that analyzed and assigned value to certain words. Afterward, the website would announce the author of this text is male! Or Female, depending upon what was submitted.

It’s not whether a person talks about guns or sewing needles. Most men speak about objects while most women speak in terms of relationships.

The Gender Genie has long since gone away, but I saved the analysis. I always used the GG as a writing tool. I never expected it to help me determine the probable winner of a national election.

First, a bit about the tool, one of my critique partners expressed her dislike for a male character in my novel. I did an exhaustive chapter by chapter search of just his dialogue. His dialogue came out female! Two of his sentences were:

“Let see if I can call him.”
“Let me see if I can find you something.”
“If” is identified as a female word & the weight score is 47. So, I changed it to:
“I’ll call him.”
“I’ll find you something.”
That’s his decisiveness, not my indecisiveness.

I wondered what would happen if I inputted the speeches of famous people. I put in Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It came back with a Male score of 443 and a Female score of 280. The website thought the author was a male. Of course, it was correct.

What about speeches of politicians from our time? I used the speeches of Presidential candidates. Many, many times the candidate’s speech patterns matched their gender, but if the algorithm inaccurately interpreted the speech of that candidate they were the always the losing candidate.

Speechwriters write speeches, but debates are for the most part the words of the candidate.

At first, I tried to input the entire debate, separating each candidate’s speech, but it proved time-consuming. I could achieve the same result with just 1000 words. The GG said it needed at least 500 words to determine the sex.
First, a few guidelines, when I did a word search for example: I searched for space_with_space, so if a candidate said the word withdrawal, it wouldn’t count.

Since the GG has gone away, I wrote a Microsoft Excel Formula. I inputted the number in the cell column next to each word. After I had searched all the words, I hit F9 and Excel calculated the total. What the Formula/algorithm looks like:

gender-genie

Here are the results from various debates throughout the years.
In the Obama versus Hillary debate, then-Senator Obama had a male score of 2386 and a female score of 2270. Then Senator Clinton had a male score of 4153 and a female score of 3060. The losing candidate used language not consistent with his or her gender. I make no assumptions here; I’m just reporting the facts.

Donald Trump: Male words 1209. Female: 873 ******
Hillary Clinton: Male 1389, Female 1257 ******
Kasich: Male 1222, Female 1501 ***
Hillary Clinton: 1580 Male words, 863 Female words *
Bernie Sanders: Male words 1213 VS. Female: 1302 *
Ben Carson: Male 782, Female 564 **
Chris Christie: Male 1061, Female 587 **
Huckabee: Male 727, Female 532 *+
Jeb Bush: Male 934, Female 409 **
Marco Rubio: Male 2305, Female 1236***
Ted Cruz: Male 1384, Female 960 ***

In the McCain versus Obama debate, I used the entire debate.

John McCain: Male score 9701, Female score of 9739 ****
Barack Obama: Male score, 13,005, Female score 12,080 ****
In the George W Bush versus Al Gore debates, it’s pretty much a wash.
Rick Santorium: Male score of 787, Female score of 1254 *****
Newt Gingrich: Male score of 677, Female score of 804 *****
Carly Fiorina: Male score 800, Female 359*+
Ronald Reagan: Male 1159, Female 1060+
Jimmy Carter: Male 1442, Female 736+
Bob Dole: Male 1761, Female 1478
Bill Clinton: Male 1888, Female 1209
Walter Mondale: Male 1460, Female 959+*+
Ronald Reagan: Male 1393, Female 928+*+
George H.W. Bush: Male 1407, Female 735++
Michael Dukakis: Male 1167, Female 1367++

I wrote this blog four years ago but never finished. I revisited the idea before the election. Like everyone else I thought Clinton was going to win, so I didn’t bother. When that didn’t happen, I decided to finish this blog. I had a friend ask me how I would consider the electoral college in this. I have no idea.
Obviously, Hillary has won elections. I looked at that debate between her and Rick Lazio. Hillary always comes out male but so does Rick Lazio. He replaced Rudy Giuliani in May of 2000 due to prostate cancer. NY elected Hillary in November of 2000. I did not look at the transcript for NY Senatorial 2006 debate.
For the record, I am not making any statement about transgender people or the LGBT community. I don’t have anything against anybody. (Unless they cut me off in traffic.) I have simply used this formula as a writing tool and maybe, a way to predict a national election.
The thesis makes a distinction between formal and informal speech which might explain why this blog post comes out male. Unless I intentionally manipulate it, my fiction writing is always female. Male score: 829, Female score 744
I have no current plans to run for election.

The thesis that started it all: http://u.cs.biu.ac.il/~koppel/papers/male-female-text-final.pdf
NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/10/magazine/the-way-we-live-now-8-10-03-sexed-texts.html

+Oct 28, 1980, Cleveland, Ohio
+*+ Oct 7, 1984 Louisville, Kentucky
++ Sept 25, 1988, Winston, NC.
*Feb 5, 2016, Durham N.H
*+Oct 28, 2015, Boulder
**Feb 6, 2016, New Hampshire
***March 11, 2016, Florida
****Sept 2008, Mississippi
*****Feb 12, 2012, Arizona
****** Sept 25, 2016, Hempstead, NY.

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About rhondamhall

I am employed full time and am a humor writer & bicycle enthusiast.
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One Response to Could This Be Why Hillary Lost?

  1. Useful info. I could have used this while running for class clown in the 70s. It makes me wonder if different writing genres have gender specific language. Is romance female language? Is sci-fi male? My guess would be yes, which might explain why certain genres have more authors of one sex. Or, it might just have to do with the fact that boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails and girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Some people believe that boys and girls/men and women really are different. I don’t think we need a program to tell us that. But what about a sci-fi romance? Thanks for the fun facts.

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