Take a look at this interesting site: http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.php
And read this article in the New York Times: http://tinyurl.com/3xvh6ad
And the algorithm: http://tinyurl.com/4wep7fb
Then waste a significant amount of time testing this and tell me what you discover.
I discovered that all of my academic and professional writing in the last two years -- articles, reports, evaluations -- was judged to be written by a male. Even the more touchy-feely qualitative work was judged to be written by a male. Okay then. Perhaps academics are trained to write in a traditionally "male" way.
I then selected two blog entries. One was a more scholarly piece: Learning the Vernacular that given the above, I expected would be judged as "male". The other was my entry on the "episode of the snake in our ceiling" which is a more descriptive piece. Both pieces were assessed as having been written by a male.
When I entered a longish passage from my novel, the judgment was that it was written by a female.
I'm not quite sure what I can learn from this. Is my more successful, i.e., professionally validated writing, successful because it is written in a more "male" way? Is it a consequence of environmental factors that I write differently in different contexts? Is academia socialised to favour male behaviour? Where does my blogging fit into this? And how is it that I transition to a more "feminine" writing style in my novel? Would my writing efforts be more successful if I approached fiction in the same way as I approach report writing and blogging? Is there something in non-fiction that is more inherently male than in fiction?
Many more questions than I have answers for at this time and perhaps ever. But plenty of food for thought.