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About  10 years ago I talked to a Linden in-world, and asked him if he had any idea how many people create avatars of the opposite biological sex to their own. (I appreciate that the policy of never ever divulging the RL details of SL avatars is a wise one, but I thought that he might know what the general balance might be overall.)

At that time, he said that no systematic survey had been made and that, in any case, one couldn't be sure that the RL name provided on registration was genuine; but it was his impression that some 19% of SL females were in fact males in RL, and most probably more. Most people I've talked to in-world say they' sure it's more!

I don't suppose anyone has a more recent up-to-date estimate or knows whether Lindens have ever published an accurate figure?

 I've just seen this forum topic collection and have spent far too long this morning catching up on the entries! I haven't looked at everything, so please forgive me if I've missed the answer somewhere.

KInd regards,

Christi MaeterlInck

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there are no statistics, or at least no public.

I also doubt these are allowed to be published with the new privacy laws, or even talked about with a linden as you did before.

Also a bit wondering why it would be important to know?

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You can literally change genders in a second in SL, this information should be only important if someone wants a relationship with another person to go RL.

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1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

it was his impression that some 19% of SL females were in fact males in RL

This was a Linden, yes?

One of that group who collectively think that most of us come to SL to engage in "Virtual Education, and view intellectual high brow conceptual art installations"...

Yeah a great source of information on the typical SL inhabitant... NOT...

1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

Most people I've talked to in-world say they' sure it's more!

This is the same "most people" that is the everybody in "Everybody Knows..." ?

Because "Everybody knows that real women don't use computers..." and "Everybody knows real women don't play games..." and "Everybody knows real women NEVER use naughty words...", and so on ad infinitum.

Most people you've talked to in world are sure to be clueless asshats...

1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

whether Lindens have ever published an accurate figure

Where the hell would they get such a figure? Have you any idea how many credit cards & bank accounts do NOT have a first name attached, just initials? How do you tell the RL gender of "A.N. Other, billing address 666 Satan Street, Buttburg, Buttwipe County, State of Dumbass, United Rebel Colonies of Murica"?

1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

I don't suppose anyone has a more recent up-to-date estimate

More importantly, why the hell do you care?
 

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I can just imagine it now... 

Dinglebat Humptyfunk: You know, we've been seeing each other for a long time now.
PooNanny69: Yes, it's been wonderful.
Dinglebat Humptyfunk: Well, I think it'd be absolutely splendid if, if you are amenable that is, that we might possibly meet in what the kids are calling "RL".

PooNanny69: Oh....

Dinglebat Humptyfunk: Sorry... did I say something wrong?
PooNanny69: No! Not at all my dear! Oh please don;t think that way... it's just.. well.. I've been meaning to share something with you, but I'm worried about how you might react.
Dinglebat Humptyfunk: Oh my darling Nanny! You know you can tell me anything. We have nothing to hide from each other! I've trusted you ever since we met at the floating hotdog bar.
PooNanny69: Ok... well... you see.. the thing is... I'm not actually a 60ft tall mega lizzard.... 
Dinglebat Humptyfunk: *gulps* .... *gasp* .... WHY? WHAT GOD WOULD ALLOW THIS?! *falls to knees*

BLACKOUT

SPOTLIGHT CS

Dinglebat Humptyfunk: You do still have a ***k though?
PooNanny69: Of course! Who would lie about that?!
Dinglebat Humptyfunk: Great! Tuesday then?

BLACKOUT

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Hello everyone who responded..

Thank you!

To Alwyn, who asked 'why is it important to know?' It isn't especially important; it's just something that interests me. See below.

To Sylvannas, who points out that it's only important to someone who is looking for an RL relationship...Oh heavens, no, there are reasons other than the personal ones. See below.

To Klytyna, a) who doubts that LL are entirely valid sources (possibly true) but implies that they don't have relevant records (untrue; they have to have them, to fulfil legal obligations);

b) who implies there is no point in listening to people in SL because they are clueless asshats... well, I'm still listening to you, Klytyna *grin*...

c) who doesn't seem to notice my own comment that the information provided by people registering to join may be inaccurate in the first place... sure, the interesting questions in life don't have easy answers! And

d).. who asks why I care.

Well, I don't 'care' in the sense of having an emotional investment. But I ask because Whatever, a new journal of queer theory that's part of the more academic side of the LGBT community, has issued a call for papers... see https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/announcement/view/1

and I thought I might submit an article which could include as a minor item an updated and more accurate estimate of the figure in question than appears in a paper I did a few years back. Still thinking about what I might say, but that's the way of it as I shuffle around wondering if my early thoughts might be constructive.

No big deal chaps! Just part of my attempt to check sources, including the rather important one represented by all of us who live in SL as well as in RL.

Byeeee!

Christi Maeterlinck

Edited by Christi Maeterlinck

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The thing is, SL gender has little to do with sexuality. As a lot of general game players use characters with genders opposite to theirs, in SL a great range of the residents have more than an account with different genders be it for roleplay, for modeling, for whatever other reasons they have. inquiring about sexuality to acquire a demographic data would be only partially related to the gender choice of the avatar. Specially when a lot of people who does experiment different sexuality in SL are not exactly willing or even interested in doing the same IRL.

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1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

No big deal chaps! Just part of my attempt to check sources, including the rather important one represented by all of us who live in SL as well as in RL.

 

Do a google for Journal of Virtual World Research, and see if they have any papers available. 

That’s something that I’m not concerned enough about to afford efforts on my part.

Edited by AviNews

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The lab don't publish any demographics, and rightly so.

Don't be tempted to put together a poll or survey .. the community has been beaten to death with them over the years with the only clear conclusion being, we don't like being treated like a collection of weirdos for statisticians to poke.

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Coffee, people differ; not everyone who's asked a question feels s/he's being seen as a weirdo. Nor am I a statistician, BTW; the label doesn't apply. I've been here for over 12 years, as part of the SL community, enjoying every minute living on Faerun as a long-term weirdo myself! Look out for me there, if you care to.

AviNews, thank you, I need to update myself on the latest issues of the journal. Good idea.

Sylvannas, yes, you raise a lot of complex issues. Some of which I'll want to explore, without necessarily examining the sexuality - gender relationships that you mention.

My own interest is a little distinct from that, you see. I've been working on the issue of identity, and am trying to think through some of the parallels between identity in RL and identity in SL. To what extent is that little smear of pixels I call my avatar apart from my RL identity... or an expression of part of my RL identity... Is there any meaningful way in which an alt represents a different identity and different where... in SL or also in RL... that sort of thing. Gender and sexuality are a rather small part of all that!

Byeee!

Christi

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Christi, if you run a search of these forums you might glean quite a bit of information that’s relevant. About once every couple of months, someone runs a thread on “how to spot cross-gendered avatars” or some other thread related to people who are looking for a RL mate within SL and “need to make sure their girl is a girl”.

There is probably a lot of information out there for the patient person who is willing to compile it, and deal with the complexity posed by Alt accounts and varied cultural mores (global platform issues).

Edited by AmandaKeen

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1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

Coffee, people differ; not everyone who's asked a question feels s/he's being seen as a weirdo.

It's not that we feel like "weirdos" because people ask us questions, it's that the people asking the questions often imply that we are...

1 hour ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

I've been here for over 12 years, as part of the SL community

Then you've been here long enough to know that by now, the standard respone to Liberal Arts Faculty Pseudo Intellectuals, seeking worthless sheepskins in Voodoo Pseudo Science subjects, coming around asking questions of an invasive nature ranges from pitchforks and a barrel of hot tar, to democratic execution, one citizen  - one fist...

3 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

who implies there is no point in listening to people in SL because they are clueless asshats...

If you've been here 12 years, you've been here long enough to have learned that there are whole tribes of asshats in SL, who assume "all female avis are guys because [cue dumb fact free reasons of no importance]".

3 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

implies that they don't have relevant records (untrue; they have to have them, to fulfil legal obligations);

They have no obligation to peer in peoples pants to see what 'gender' they apparently are, nor to consult medical records etc., they have an obligation to make you fill in a form IF you are cashing out enough USD to trigger the IRS into snoop mode, otherwise, they are quite happy to receive money from "A.N.Other" via pay pal or credit card, as long as the name details given match those on the account.

3 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

who doesn't seem to notice my own comment that the information provided by people registering to join may be inaccurate in the first place...

That wasn't your comment, that was the Linden you were quoting sayingthat even LL isn't sure who people are (contrary to your claim that they have a legal obligation to do so).

8 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

At that time, he said that no systematic survey had been made and that, in any case, one couldn't be sure that the RL name provided on registration was genuine

3 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

To Klytyna, a) who doubts that LL are entirely valid sources (possibly true) but implies that they don't have relevant records

You're contradicting your self, one post says a Linden says they don't know, and the other says they MUST know... Make up your mind. 

3 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

 who asks why I care.

Ah, it's that endof the academic year thing once again, when the studenty types start battering us with question and surveys and papers.... Time to activate the 30mm remote sentry guns and retire behind the blast doors... 



 

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Coffee, people differ; not everyone who's asked a question feels s/he's being seen as a weirdo. Nor am I a statistician, BTW; the label doesn't apply. I've been here for over 12 years, as part of the SL community, enjoying every minute living on Faerun as a long-term weirdo myself! Look out for me there, if you care to.

AviNews, thank you, I need to update myself on the latest issues of the journal. Good idea.

Sylvannas, yes, you raise a lot of complex issues. Some of which I'll want to explore, without necessarily examining the sexuality - gender relationships that you mention.

My own interest is a little distinct from that, you see. I've been working on the issue of identity, and am trying to think through some of the parallels between identity in RL and identity in SL. To what extent is that little smear of pixels I call my avatar apart from my RL identity... or an expression of part of my RL identity... Is there any meaningful way in which an alt represents a different identity and different where... in SL or also in RL... that sort of thing. Gender and sexuality are a rather small part of all that!

Byeee!

Christi

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12 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

About  10 years ago I talked to a Linden in-world, and asked him if he had any idea how many people create avatars of the opposite biological sex to their own. (I appreciate that the policy of never ever divulging the RL details of SL avatars is a wise one, but I thought that he might know what the general balance might be overall.)

At that time, he said that no systematic survey had been made and that, in any case, one couldn't be sure that the RL name provided on registration was genuine; but it was his impression that some 19% of SL females were in fact males in RL, and most probably more. Most people I've talked to in-world say they' sure it's more!

I don't suppose anyone has a more recent up-to-date estimate or knows whether Lindens have ever published an accurate figure?

 I've just seen this forum topic collection and have spent far too long this morning catching up on the entries! I haven't looked at everything, so please forgive me if I've missed the answer somewhere.

KInd regards,

Christi MaeterlInck

i did the math and its more  like 200 percent out of 10 people that join are guys that join using a female avatar not cuz they choose it but cuz they dont know wtf they are doin an when they get in sl they think an say ya now i can go befrend lesbians unbeknownst to them the lesbians are in fact male dudes that already know how to fool people and or already gay in reall life they just wanna live out a fantasy in sl cuz they can fool guys just to be evil

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Dear All,

Thank you for your comments; some impassioned, some ruminative and thought-provoking, and some, coolly informative!

Amanda and Avinews, thanks in particular for the specific leads and suggestions, which I'll follow up.

Kind regards,

Devi

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30 minutes ago, Quinn Lysette said:

i did the math and its more  like 200 percent out of 10 people that join are guys that join using a female avatar not cuz they choose it but cuz they dont know wtf they are doin an when they get in sl they think an say ya now i can go befrend lesbians unbeknownst to them the lesbians are in fact male dudes that already know how to fool people and or already gay in reall life they just wanna live out a fantasy in sl cuz they can fool guys just to be evil

not everybody who declines your "services" is a guy, it might be also a sort of reputation you builded during the years.

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7 hours ago, Christi Maeterlinck said:

My own interest is a little distinct from that, you see. I've been working on the issue of identity, and am trying to think through some of the parallels between identity in RL and identity in SL.

As a male koneko yokai, complete with a tail and four ears the only parallel should be our wish that chimeras subjugate the human race and restore Bastet to her rightful position of worshipped, godly power. It would be an improvement over that orange haired hamster ruling over the USA, and we'd get tasty noms from our beloved human slaveses.

download.thumb.png.7dfdb1dd7a6dcd7fc0b74405ba2ac9eb.png 

She is, after all, the most awesome of the gods.

Edited by Callum Meriman
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1 hour ago, Quinn Lysette said:

i did the math and its more  like 200 percent out of 10 people

If I were you (and I'm glad that I'm not, because one of you is quite enough, thank you) I'd complain to your local education board, if that's the math you've been taught.

1 hour ago, Quinn Lysette said:

the lesbians are in fact male dudes

Well that's discriminatory toward female dudes!

1 hour ago, Quinn Lysette said:

guys that join using a female avatar not cuz they choose it but cuz they dont know wtf they are doin an when they get in sl they think an say ya now i can go befrend lesbians unbeknownst to them the lesbians are in fact male dudes

So wait.. let me get this straight (because you're not managing that too well on your own). You're saying here that men only join SL with female avatars so they can trick lesbians into having (unwitting heterosexual) sex with them (because haha they're a guy in real life), but it's NOT FAAAAAIR if the lesbian also turns out to be a guy in real life, because OMG GAY COOTIES!

Cluebat (or, where you're concerned, Quinn, a sturdy piece of 2x4 is probably better) = if a man is pretending to be a lesbian he is pretending to be gay, so why so fearful of gay cooties? Remember: gay cooties can only be caught by shaking hands with, talking to, and looking at gay people! Pixel gay sex and actual gay sex don't give you 'teh gay'!

1 hour ago, Quinn Lysette said:

the lesbians are in fact male dudes that already know how to fool people and or already gay in reall life they just wanna live out a fantasy in sl cuz they can fool guys

Thank you so much for showing me where I - as a gay man who is only attracted to men - am clearly going wrong! I need to put on an avatar that I have no sexual attraction to (a woman) just so that I can have (complete turn-off to me) heterosexual pixel sex with a male avatar, because y'know, I'm gay and I find men attractive. D'oh! How remiss of me to not think of that so OBVIOUS answer!

Bless you, Quinn. Your clueless hilarity brightened my morning :)

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6 minutes ago, Skell Dagger said:

If I were you (and I'm glad that I'm not, because one of you is quite enough, thank you) I'd complain to your local education board, if that's the math you've been taught.

Well that's discriminatory toward female dudes!

So wait.. let me get this straight (because you're not managing that too well on your own). You're saying here that men only join SL with female avatars so they can trick lesbians into having (unwitting heterosexual) sex with them (because haha they're a guy in real life), but it's NOT FAAAAAIR if the lesbian also turns out to be a guy in real life, because OMG GAY COOTIES!

Cluebat (or, where you're concerned, Quinn, a sturdy piece of 2x4 is probably better) = if a man is pretending to be a lesbian he is pretending to be gay, so why so fearful of gay cooties? Remember: gay cooties can only be caught by shaking hands with, talking to, and looking at gay people! Pixel gay sex and actual gay sex don't give you 'teh gay'!

Thank you so much for showing me where I - as a gay man who is only attracted to men - am clearly going wrong! I need to put on an avatar that I have no sexual attraction to (a woman) just so that I can have (complete turn-off to me) heterosexual pixel sex with a male avatar, because y'know, I'm gay and I find men attractive. D'oh! How remiss of me to not think of that so OBVIOUS answer!

Bless you, Quinn. Your clueless hilarity brightened my morning :)

Wait. go back.

Did you just give us gay cooties?

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3 hours ago, Quinn Lysette said:

 the lesbians are in fact male dudes that already know how to fool people and or already gay in reall life they just wanna live out a fantasy in sl cuz they can fool guys just to be evil

How does that account for the number of (presumably) male residents complaining that they can’t find sexxorz because all the women here are into other women?

Maybe that’s (a) a lack of dating skill or (b) sometimes it’s nice to just tell a persistent Hound “yes I do, but not with you...” and walk away with your bestie to find inspiring stuff in this virtual world.....

giphy.gif

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59 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

giphy.gif

This just became my Phone wallpaper with a meme-header “I’m feeling militant today! Rawr!!“

Coffee has wonderful expressive talents :-)

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I think there are basically all types represented in SL and numbers and percentages are impossible to determine.

Perhaps a better approach for a queer studies journal would be anecdotal, looking at the experiences of several trans-people in SL and the pros and cons of exploring gender fluidity here.

Things I've been told by trans women & CDs (MTF) (note that there is a gender bias in my data set) -

- great that it's so easy to switch the physical representation
- harder to adequately represent a man dressing as a woman, especially with the advent of mesh and gender-specific rigging (trans easier than cross dressing where a man wants to retain masculine characteristics)
- anonymity and safety for those unable or not yet ready to dress as a woman in RL
- presenting as a woman opens up one to harassment etc from SL men
- people bring their RL prejudices
- prejudice against gender-switching exacerbated by the crap some guys get up to in female avs

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This whole topic just stinks of bad science. There's no way to get meaningful, accurate data. I think it's fine to want to pontificate on the issue of people playing genders not their own in Second Life, but that's about as far as the discussion can go without real numbers. Why not just ask people if they play their own gender and why or why not? Actually, I'm sure there are already threads on that topic. 

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