My second survey (to which I got about 40 responses) addresses the question of assigning genders to letters and numbers, a part of ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP) synesthesia. I wanted to know if there were any unconscious gender stereotypes coming into play here—for example, the “softer” letters often being female, etc.

I was interested to find that this is not always true.

You can download the raw data in an Excel spreadsheet format here.

The final graph (double-click to enlarge):

 

OLP-genders

Letters more likely to be male:

  • B
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • J
  • O
  • T
  • X
  • Z

Letters more likely to be female (not as many!):

  • K
  • M
  • Q
  • S
  • Y

Letters that are sort of androgynous:

  • A
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • I
  • N
  • R
  • U
  • V
  • W

Also, even numbers are a lot more likely to be female than odd numbers. This fascinating Radiolab episode gives some insight into this.

I personally thought this was a pretty interesting experiment that leaves me with a lot of questions!

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