Avatar and Gender Confusion

@theprogamer (10539)
United States
January 7, 2008 12:27am CST
Okay not a news thread, not a science thread, not a long thread, just something basic. Just had a run in with gender confusion on mylot. I think it would be my first or second time overall. I don't blame the member and there are no hard feelings, so please don't worry! I've noticed in my travels on the net, some people do assign gender based on avatars and a few times on usernames (Well geez, you should see some reactions on Warcraft! Heh! =P) My question to you. Do you judge gender right off the bat, based on avatars or on usernames? What about interests and comments? Sure sometimes a gender can be deduced, but not always (people have their own unique stories, personalities; and assuming something from that may not always be accurate). Do you make other assumptions on the member based on these things? Like age, background, "status", things like that. Some assumptions might be apt, but they might be wrong. Even then, there are some things that really shouldn't matter with a member depending on the circumstances. I'll take a wise, smart and informed person in their 20s before someone in their 60s being a complete drag. A few friends of mine on here may remember another thread I had about Age Confusion! Its like memory lane for them :) Hope you had fun with that one, have a good night.
10 people like this
21 responses
@zenmachado (1619)
• United States
7 Jan 08
Always, I believe that in the initial moment, I make a preconceived notion of what the gender and possibly age group is. Not that I am correct in that notion, but without intending I pretty much always do. And I must confess, that typically, it occurs that pictures with Females in them tend to curve towards it being a woman. Yet, many times its a male... that just enjoys the way that female looks. Also many women attain avatars that you initially are sure that were chosen by males.. but result being a random pick by a chick. So I find that there are many misconceptions when it comes to avatars, and even screenames for that matter...
4 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
7 Jan 08
Hello Progamer, Nope, I sure don't! If I suspect a particular bit of information might be helpful in formulating a response to a member, I will check their member page to see if that info is easily obtainable. If it isn't then I'll formulate the response around the missing data. Or, if it's really relevant, then I'll ask. Before I joined MyLot, I was a member of another well know forum. My user name and avatar were expressly gender non-specific. It was astonishing how many people would assume that I was one gender or the other. From that I learned that it's best to avoid assumptions!
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
7 Jan 08
Since we're kind of on the subject, I wanted to throw this one out there: I have three times encountered people who have listed their ages as dramatically different from their real age. I'm not sure of the reason for this. However, I find it troubling. One of the three I have recently learned is in the mid-twenty age range, though the member's page indicates an age of a senior citizen. This particular member has a contentious history, and I have specifically given this member a pass on many erroneous, combative comments, simply because I did not wish to disrespect my elders. In another instance, a member's age was listed in the teens, yet the member is actually in their forties. In this case, it was a matter of a simple typo -- no biggie. The member and I made friends after I provided a somewhat embarrassing age-specific answer, directed at someone in their teens. The other member pointed out their accurate age, I apologized for my age assumption, and viola we've become quite close. So, my question is: Why are some folks misleading about their age? OK, I know this is a huge side-line of your original post. Yet, it's just so odd that I'm curious to hear your or any other perspectives on this. Thanks a bunch!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 08
I think that some women, in particular, may list their age as being in the senior citizen bracket in hopes that they may ward off any weirdos or perverts. I think that they think the lie will be a source of protection for them... more then as a chance to deceive others to get a "free pass".
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
8 Jan 08
Hello Imadriscoll, Hmmm, that is an interesting theory! I think you may be on to something. Of course, protecting one's self on the internet is something that we're all advised to do. Of the examples I cited, the first is a male, the second a female. I didn't give any gender specifics about the third, because I'm still unclear about his or her gender. Thanks for theorizing. I appreciate it!
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
13 Jan 08
based on your avatar, your a girl. but then, based on your username, your a male. LOL but i have always thought that your a male pro. ^__^ i usually associate avatars with the interests of the persons using them. like for example, your avatar is an anime character, i would deduce that you like anime and have watched a lot. another example are those that use puppies as avatars. i would say that they have dogs for pets and they love them and they just can't get enough of their dogs' cuteness. ^__^ secondly, from what i've said earlier, i associate avatars AND usernames with the gender of the persons using them. in your case, since i thought that your username and avatar contradicts each other (in my view only), i had to based on your posts. ^__^ but then, why do i have to make it difficult for myself to guess about a myLotter's gender when i can see it in their profile?? ^__^
1 person likes this
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
16 Feb 08
Well in my profile case its not THAT difficult, the whole thing is right there :D But yes it seems like the avatar gives wrong impressions to some members. I think even a few responses leave people with wrong impressions (I worry a bit, but not really. I'm me and that's it.) I'll not stop using similar avatars though. I like em.
@GardenGerty (99477)
• United States
8 Jan 08
I do not. I always check the profile. Some people deliberately mask their ID there, though. When I get confused is when I run into a member that is male one week, female the next, old, and young simultaneously, living in the States, and in Europe, and Asia. In otherwords, a scammer can fool me for a little while, but if I notice this happening, I alert myLot, and delete them from my friend list.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
8 Jan 08
Hello GardenGerty, Ah yes, I've encountered that also. Only once though -- fortunately. If others have done the same, I'm happy to report that I've been spared their confusion. Come to think of it, I haven't encountered that member is quite a long time. Perhaps the many reports of shenanigans convinced the MyLot Admin's to finally take permanent action.
@Wario_1 (969)
• Sweden
10 Jan 08
I probably guess gender of the avatar, sometimes it works and sometimes it doens't, much like lottery except it doesn't cost money. Id rather check out the persons info and se if the persons a he/she/whatever. I don't like guessing because it often leads to very embarrasing moments.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
9 Jan 08
I dont take any notice of gender or race, at least not purposely. Sometimes the gender is obvious by comments people make, such as hair styles, their partners, etc. I almost never look up a persons profile to find out their gender. I simply respond if I have an interest in the topic of discussion & can contribute to it. As for Race, sometimes this is a little more obvious, as people may say in my country of Australia... or whatever. Or it could be that the English is a little different. Sometimes the views expressed are so different I know may not be of my race, even if I can't differentiate what race he/she is.
@EelKat (100)
• United States
8 Jan 08
I think at first I assume I'm talking to a girl or a boy, based on thier username if it is a real name, or based on the avatar if it looks like it could be an actual picture of them. However, most times I have no idea what (girl or boy) I am talking to until they say in one of their comments.
1 person likes this
@imadriscoll (2230)
• United States
8 Jan 08
I must confess I'm a habitual offender of having preconceived ideas based on user names and especially avatars! For example, if the avatar is a picture of a kitten, I think woman. If the picture is of a half naked woman, especially a celebrity, I think man. If the name is something like thebigjohnson, I think man. If the name is mamaofsix, I think woman. There are often times when I really don't know, so by reading their discussions and replies you can usually discover their gender and age.
1 person likes this
@zxtzxt (214)
• Philippines
7 Jan 08
I don't think theres anything wrong in assuming the gender based on avatar or username. If my username is Jenny then I bet 90 percent of people will think I am a girl.
1 person likes this
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
7 Jan 08
Hello dear programer. Usually I would like to judge gender by its avatar, but often I am proved to be wrong as some users love to use an opposite one, which makes me confused about its gender. There are quite some times when I thought the avatar suggests a woman, but on the contrary, it is a man and vice versa. Till now, I am still quite quite confused about the gender of some of my friends here at mylot. Anwyway it is not a big probelem to me whether it is a male gender or a female gender so long as it is a nice and friendly mylot. lol. Thanks for this avatar and gender confusion.
• Italy
7 Jan 08
I have a confession: I thought you were a girl ^^ Then I understood you were a boy by reading posts in which you used male pronouns *laughs* Yes, I use mostly avatar to make my first impression: if the avatar is a girl, I think immediatly that the poster is a girl (bad habit) But if a member has a male avatar, I don't immediatly think he's a guy because I think it may be a girl who thinks that guy is hot. I know, I should think that in both situations, but my mind is strange.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
13 Jan 08
*Loving chuckling* Don't worry, I don't think its weird. I found it kind of cute Rowena.
• United States
7 Jan 08
You mean, you're not a woman? I did make the assumption based on your avatar that you were female, but some of the topics you posted did lean towards the other gender as far as interest in concerned. I guess I do make assumptions based on the avatar. But that is it. I don't look for specific roles people play when I am looking for friends on MyLot, just interesting conversation.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
12 Jan 08
I'm snickering a bit, but still happy Drk. I've surprised plenty of people not just on this subject but also on interests and age. I started the conversation just to get some posts and experiences going and I like what I've seen.
@kwenge (2493)
• Kenya
7 Jan 08
yes of course, I have had so many instances where I have been addressing someone thinking it is a she, after reading some of the person's replies in other posts is when I noticed its a "he". I always judge the gender using the avatar and name. Can you judge me? am I a boy or a girl?
• Abernathy, Texas
8 Jan 08
I too would judge perhaps if the name were say ladiesman, or moonlightlady but I would still look. However this wouldn't change my answers I don't think! I always have trouble with pronouns relating to gender even in real life though! I will often say he when I mean she and vice versa - and no I don't have a brain tumour - I hope!
@diansinta (7551)
• Indonesia
22 Mar 08
my picture - my picture, the real diansinta
my name is realy diansinta and may age is 33 because i was born in 1975. And indeed i come from Indonesia.
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
11 Jan 08
I do assume gender if it's pertinent to the discussion. If there's any doubt I check the profile. It's all relative really. You said: I'll take a wise, smart and informed person in their 20s before someone in their 60s being a complete drag. and I had a laugh and went to your profile to check your age. "wise 20 yr old" is an oxymoron to me. I've never know anyone in their twenties who could fill that description although plenty of them THINK they are all that and more. It's this that makes most 20 yr olds a drag for me while I see more 50/60 yr olds who are wise smart and informed. I'm 55 btw. :) On second thoughts finding people with all these qualities is rare at any age. Back to avatars, I've found folk using anime for avatars tend to use either gender and I find females generally use pretty, cutesy or cute avatars while blokes use sporty strong or self photo ones. Males using photos of women as their avatar make me wonder.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I do not tend to pay much attention to gender or age. I really do not care about that. I am more interested in the content and quality of the post than things like age and gender. I also am interested in the responses made by others. I enjoy both the serious and the fun postings. But I do get tired of the redundant ones and the copy cats. By the way, I have found some geriatrics in here that are quite profound and some 20~25 year olds that you wonder if they made it through junior high. Shalom~Adoniah
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
8 Jan 08
I try not to assume anything, cause you know when you assume you make and @ss out of you and me. lol. that's a little saying that my french teacher used to say.. i guess to help us learn to spell it. i dunno.. But i usually dont care about the persons gender or age, just their opinions and what they have to say at least here on mylot. I have however THOUGHT that a few people where the oppisite gender in my mind, i just pictures it, but never made refrence to their gender in conversation or anyhting so i wasn't embarrassed and i didnt offend them, which is good :)
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
7 Jan 08
When I am reading posts I don't consciously try and decide if someone is male or female. If I do make a distinction, it is never based on the avatar. I usually only come to a certain conclusion after reading many of their discussions. Even then, I don't give it a whole lot of extra thought because to me, it doesn't really matter whether you are male or female.
• United States
7 Jan 08
LOL... well seeing as how I was the member that started the "gender confused" Warcraft thread =D. I didnt mean it as judgemental, and I am sure you realize that. I dont judge and try not to assume anything based on screen names or avitars. my best "W.O.W.' buddy is a guy with a female avitar and his name is Stridex lol.
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
7 Jan 08
Well, knowing you are not a female, but sometimes I have to remind myself that, because I am visual and it does throw me off some. As for age, I am not really that old, but unless I check on the persons profile, I always think someone is younger than I. (which, if I remember correctly, you are..lol) So I am surprised when I find that someone is older than I thought..