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How can you tell if someone is male or female?

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I have a female avatar.  I'm male in RL, but I never call anyone "mate" and I have no idea who or what Villa is.

I'm also pretty sure that I can fool most tests to find out RL gender.

I do tell people my RL gender, but I DON'T recommend that other people do the same.

It works for me, but generally speaking it is a terrible idea.  For most people it would ruin the wonder and the fun of SL.

FYI, it is rude to ask someone's RL gender. Also, guys who insist on knowing are often considered as "cheap guys using SL as a dating service."

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There is really no way for you to tell for sure. The best you can do is ask them what their sex is in real life, and if they give you an answer, in good faith choose to believe they're telling the truth.

Even if it does happen to be a man playing a woman avie (or vise versa), it doesn't reflect negatively on you, because there is really no way you could have known in the first place.

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Siobhan Taylor wrote:

There's also the enormous community of transgendered people in SL, many of whom have avatars of the gender they are becoming... and some of whom still display traits associated with the gender they are leaving behind... In this case, voice just confuses the issue.

In the end, as people have said, unless you're after a RL relationship with someone, it's best to treat someone as if they are the avatar.

Sio

That is a really good point. 

I have a number of TG friends and for most of them SL is a way to explore who they are becoming.  In addition I know that in some unfortunate cases SL is the only outlet available to them.  RL prejudice and discrimination against TG peoples is very pronounced in some parts of the USA and Canada. 

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You can't tell but if it's that important to you then really you need to ask yourself if you're in the right place to form a serious relationship at all :)..

A few surveys of Rollplayers RL stats ( gathered anonymously ) revealed that a man is 5 times more likely to find himself in love with a grandmother than a man playing a woman.8% of Rollpayers are over 70.

I've learnt over the years online that it's better to just forget it, I'd rather talk to a nice guy playing a woman than a woman playing the bitch that she is no matter how true to life. Authenticity is a poor substitute for intelligence and kindness.

It only matters if you want sex online I guess and I don't :)

BTW out of curiosity i found there are more women playing men than the other way around. However more men make their cross genger Av their main Av and women tend to just have a male av for fun or simply 'RP'

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I'd have to suggest that if RL details of any sort are really that important to you, SL might not be the best place for you to socialize. Not only might someone's gender be the opposite of what they portray, so might their politics, their finances, their age, or musical tastes.

The essence of Sl is that you can create your own little reality and do what you like with it. If we want that freedom for ourselves, we have to accept it for others.

edited to add funny story: I once had a guy assume I was male because I referred to him as "Dude".

 

 

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Ossian wrote:

I have a female avatar.  I'm male in RL, {snip}

 

Really?  I did not know that.  You are a beautiful and elegant woman to me.  I hope you don't mind if I still think of you as such.

 

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:


Ossian wrote:

I have a female avatar.  I'm male in RL, {snip}

Really?  I did not know that.  You are a beautiful and elegant woman to me.  I hope you don't mind if I still think of you as such.

 

Awww! Thanks so much!

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Here's how I can tell, usually 100 percent of the time:

1. They go out of their way to harass, bully, heckle, AR speciously, etc. -- these are male-to-female transgenders who find that my status as female-to-male really gets their goat; they don't like my strong views on open source software (highly critical) and so on, so they cross the street to heckle me. A stranger I've never noticed before crossing the street to harass me is 9 times out of 10 a f2m in SL.

2. When people arrive at a new space, like a prospective rental or a concert, most of the time, the female who is really a female in real life sits down. She wants to get a feel for the place as a home, she cams around to see if she can tolerate the camera angles and views, she wants to get settled.

Males, on the other hand, scurry around and sort of "mark the territory". They race around or fly around looking at everything at once. They go through the property rapidly to see if the whole place is suited.

So that "nesting" versus "territorial marking" behaviour that is wired into genders for millions of years is how I can tell in SL, where people don't stop being people.

3. If someone is evasive about their gender in RL, or starts lecturing you why it doesn't matter and you should be soul mates, or won't go on voice, well, you have your answer. If that is not an answer you like, don't date that person.

4. *edited for mature content*

5. Computer programmer. While there are a tiny percentage of females in this very male enclave and always a few will show up huffily in a thread like this to claim it isn't a male enclave, in fact we all know it is. So if your date has *edited for mature content*, races all over a territory, and has like "AWGroupies" in her groups and loves going to the bug triage office hours, unless you like soul-mating, this is not the date for you.

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If someone is evasive about their gender in RL, or starts lecturing you why it doesn't matter and you should be soul mates, or won't go on voice, well, you have your answer. If that is not an answer you like, don't date that person.

While I'm not evasive and don't desire soulmateship from people, I don't use voice. I'm pretty sure I couldn't on this computer, frankly, but either way, I want nothing to do with voice in SL. If people believe I'm a man because of that, fine. That's their deal. 

 

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One thing to note by the by: If a person has a list that they claim works almost perfectly for them .... doubt the list and doubt the person.

No matter the criteria used, unless you actually meet the person face to face or have them submit to a DNA test .... you're SOL in finding out anyone's true gender.

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Like Siobhán wrote earlier, there is a large number of trans people of various kinds in SL, and meeting someone's RL counterpart face to face may not necessarily help in figuring out whether they are male or female. It may even turn out that they do not fit completely in either category. Moreover, the SL user base is large enough that there's bound to be a number of people with unusual karyotypes (as well as other intersex conditions), so a DNA test (or any other medical test) may not be conclusive, either. When you get into this level of detailed paranoia, determining someone's sex becomes non-trivial even in the physical world. :)

Then again, what's the big deal anyway? To paraphrase about half the commenters here, SL is SL and it's supposed to be separate from RL. I don't care whether the RL version of a girl friend has a beard, as long as she doesn't spend all her time with me trying to talk about football.

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I have a very simple formula for determining if an SL avatar is male or female in RL. It is foolproof.

If X > 2 and I > 40,000 then Y = 0

if X > 2 and I < 40,000 then Y = 1.

X = Number of years in SL.

I = number of items in subject avatar's inventory.

Y = Number of  Y chromosomes in RL person behind subject avatar.

 

Also... just look at their shoes.

 

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Eli Schlegal wrote:

I have a very simple formula for determining if an SL avatar is male or female in RL. It is foolproof.

If X > 2 and I > 40,000 then Y = 0

if X > 2 and I < 40,000 then Y = 1.

X = Number of years in SL.

I = number of items in subject avatar's inventory.

Y = Number of  Y chromosomes in RL person behind subject avatar.

 

Also... just look at their shoes.

 

Wow. Aside from the fact that your formula fails to account for the rare male specimen with XYY chromosomes, it really works!

I've been 5 years in SL, have 38k items in my inventory, and one of my s... oops. That's a bad word here. One of my gender chromosomes looks more like a Y, although sometimes I think it's a Y with a little extra stub where the missing leg broke off (which caused this girl to be born with a little extra stub).

I do have a vast collection of shoes though, and my inventory count is only so "low" because I constantly store old outfits in plywood boxes on my attic :P

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Solar Legion wrote:

One thing to note by the by: If a person has a list that they claim works almost perfectly for them .... doubt the list and doubt the person.

No matter the criteria used, unless you actually meet the person face to face or have them submit to a DNA test .... you're SOL in finding out anyone's true gender.

Yeah, that. The bit about the DNA test. A face to face meeting is no guarantee either :P Ya gotta look a little lower.

ETA: ...to check for an Adam's apple of course! I'd never suggest anything remotely mature in this fine PG forum.

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"2. When people arrive at a new space, like a prospective rental or a concert, most of the time, the female who is really a female in real life sits down. She wants to get a feel for the place as a home, she cams around to see if she can tolerate the camera angles and views, she wants to get settled..."

See, this is the stuff that gets to me. I'm female in SL and RL and I do no such thing. I tp in, step away from the landing point to rezz, and if people are dancing, I start dancing, if I'm shopping, I start shopping. Nesting? really? In 2011?

The thing that all females have in common is exactly this: NOTHING. We actually have divergent opinions, habits, etc, due to being different people. Well, besides certain anatomy of course, but otherwise...yeah.

I did have a guy ask me what size pantyhose I wore in an attempt to make sure I was female. I haven't worn pantyhose since..well..what year did we all a lot of us stop wearing them? I just remember when I was in highschool in the late 80's they were very uncool and I happily haven't worn them since. So, I told him that question was more revealing of his age than my gender, which didn't bother me either way, but it ticked him off and he left.

 

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Heh, yes, some people get ticked off by this sort of uncertainty. Back when I was very young I tried at first to go for a totally androgynous look and a little later changed genders more or less at random, just because it's possible. During this sort-of-androgynous phase a gentleman tried to hit on me right on Orientation Island. I wasn't interested (my RL self is quite solidly married to someone who doesn't frequent this world, and besides it didn't seem the place to look for romance), but only after I said so he started questioning whether I was male or female. When I told him I wasn't sure and asked what he thought, he got rather upset and left in a huff... ;)

 

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Not to mention that long before the multiple software packages to hone a new voice existed there is simply faking it! If someoen is living this every day, they will fake you till you are convinced AND you will end up snubbing your nose at people who legitimatly just have a slightly non easy to define vocal sytling! Throw in foriegn accents and you are even more confused I bet! Lets face it, there have been TV shows that prove most people can't tell a man or women who cross dresses and has trained themselves. Top that with sex change operations and you can even see them in thier naturalist and not tell (easily) and basically....well, keep it in your pants and take a looong time to get to know people!

BUT, we are in a Role Playing forum. So, this is where people are discussing playing roles and basically.....well, are you role palying a standard worried SL male? lol. ;) But, as to is the practice happening? YES, and they are not all role playing for fun only. They might be having fun at your expense or simply find it easy to get romance and possibly even wierd pronographic desires filled as a female avatar than hunting as a male! They flip on a recorder and you are now thier new personasal porn actor! People will argue men do this in RL relationships anyway lol. Funny huh?

Anonymous social areas will always bring about some threat....but the wierdness is you see so much violence being domestic or simply in public areas that you have no control of you know that SL is a bit safer.

SL takes more time than you can imagine when you start. That is a general rule for most things in SL. I have to remind myelf this now and then. Creation, trust, and almost everything seems to easy. But for quality, it takes time. I still accept low quality these days anyway. Back to making a low quality assesment and do some quick low quality reading of schollarly type stuff (hopefully NOT from a bygone era with a the wrong time label on them /me shakes fist at web search thingy) and um....well, rush rush rush! Sorry for the low quality post, I really don't have time to spell check it!

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