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Bias on the net?

Sarah Tilley sjt at newt.phys.unsw.edu.au
Wed Mar 24 19:49:08 EST 1993


In the posting from zxmkr08 at studserv.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Cornelius Krasel)
I noticed some interesting comments. With reference to gender in MUDs I have heard some interesting observations. I have a friend who for a while maintained a MUD and commented on how most of the female users opted for a neutral gender. He said this was because lonesome young men would hassle female characters with questions about their gender in real life etc. For this reason I used to play using neutral characters and never had any hassles. More recently I chose a female character for a small experiment.

 One of the first questions I was asked was about my gender in real life. This happened several times. This is unusual in my experience, as one of the points of the MUDs is that you can play at being something you are not and everyone should just take you as such.

Back to the main question of bias on the net, and I will say that I do not actively seek out information about other users. The only exception is in this news group, where I am interested in the numbers of male/female readers, as well as using it to find out about how women feel about various issues. I have only being using the net for a month. I will say that I feel less intimidated when communicating with male dominated groups on the net, then when I have to speak face-to-face. I think this is because I 

feel that I am not being judged in anyway. I should say that I don't think that I have ever experienced any real bias in my career or life to date.

Sarah Tilley
sjt at newt.phys.unsw.edu.au

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