AH.com Gender Demographics

Discussion in 'Help and Rules' started by John Fredrick Parker, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. John Fredrick Parker Donor

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    So, possibly silly question - for @Ian the Admin, any of the mods, or anyone in general who might happen to know - what are the gender demographic breakdowns for this site’s membership? Like, in the personal info, what’s the percentages of male, female, or unspecified?

    I ask because while I know our community slants male, it occurred to me that I didn’t really know how much. Does anybody here?
     
  2. Kalga Yell's Shipyard

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    I doubt that anyone who knows the actual numbers would disclose it to the public like that, breach of privacy and all that.

    Now all that being said, my off the cuff guesstimate would be that the site is ~90% male, similar to forums like SB*/SV/QQ**, probably better balanced than SB as history is, if I dare to say, less male dominated than military sci-fi.

    *informal polls pegged it as +95% male, you could probably look up those threads on there (can't provide links since I'm banned from there).
    **actually I suspect that QQ actually has a better gender ratio, but that's just my gut instinct.
     
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  3. Nyvis Kicked

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    Uh, what? They're just asking for the demographics based on your gender in your profile, which is public data.
     
  4. Kalga Yell's Shipyard

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    While the gender of most individuals are public knowledge, data set of the collective membership of the forum is not really in existence, and such data set, if it exists, is potentially valuable (to ad companies and such, because every company seems to have a hard on for data these days).
     
  5. Nyvis Kicked

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    That's a completely different concern from individual privacy though.
     
  6. Md139115 Bring back the Inquisition!

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  7. Asami It's Treason, Then?

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    A significant number of responses were joke/troll responses like "attack helicopter" and shit like that, so unfortunately it's really not very helpful.

    By and large, there were about 230 responses.

    81% of the forum identified as male exclusively, with 14.3% identifying as female exclusively, with the remaining 4.7% either identifying as non-binary individuals or identifying as joke responses such as "Burton K Wheeler" and "Byzantiumsexual".

    65% of the women on the forum identified as trans, 35% not.

    >99% of the men identified as cisgender, <1% as trans.

    Only 55% of the users identified as heterosexual, with 45% identifying as some level of queer (bi, pan, gay, ace, aro..), with one person identifying as "Akbar the Great".
     
  8. Brady Kj Well-Known Member

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    Even factoring in the joke answers, there appears to be an enormous disparity between males and females on this thread. I think it's safe to assume that very few of the people who selected "man" were women and girls who selected "man" as a joke.

    Is there something about this thread that repels women and girls, leading to a vast majority of its members to be men and boys?
     
  9. Asami It's Treason, Then?

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    Alternate history, as an extension of militaria, history and things like that; tends to be a masculine pursuit. It’s no coincidence that the vast majority of users are men or were raised with the social expectation that they would one day be men—they were likely encouraged and supported where ciswomen would typically not be.

    Hence why 2 of every 3 girls on this forum are trans women. We were raised in the same societal mould.
     
  10. Brady Kj Well-Known Member

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    True, but with disparities that large, I tend to wonder if in addition to that, there might be something about the website in particular. I don't know what that something would be, but it seems worth wondering about.
     
  11. Kalga Yell's Shipyard

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    Quite a few forums have similar gender demographics, actually I'm pretty sure SB/SV is even worse.

    I think some have pointed out that it's a self perpetuating problem, as the majority Male population acts in ways that makes females unwelcome, and thus further skew the ratios.
     
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  12. Brady Kj Well-Known Member

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    Is there something we can do differently to make women and girls feel more welcome?
     
  13. Kalga Yell's Shipyard

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    The same advice that has been said and ignored for the past decade or so on a lot of forums...

    -stop being boorish
    -dismantle the "bro" atmosphere/mentality
    -be less aggressive in rhetoric
    -not having every other thread be about military related content
    -a bunch of other stuff I have no idea of because I'm a dude and I have no idea concerning the other genders

    (to be fair, I also ignored all those points just mentioned, so I'm a colossal hypocrite)

    (you probably want to ban people like me while you're at, I know exactly how toxic I am)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  14. kholieken Well-Known Member

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  15. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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  16. Kalga Yell's Shipyard

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    Well, the site has been rather consistent in kicking out the misogyny stronk brigade for the past some years, and while that's a good thing in terms of retention of what few female membership of this forum it probably doesn't do much in getting a better gender balance for the forum.

    The problem is a lot deeper than mere forum culture (although forum cultures in general might be biased against female by default, not sure about that), the problem goes back to popular understanding of history.

    Generally, the bulk of the discussions concerning history tend to be about war, politics, exploration, and discovery/invention, and most of those recorded in history tend to be males being the driving force behind them, with whatever female historical figures tend to be trivialized, fetishized, or outright written out of said pop history books. No surprise that females would not be too interested in discussions where by default would be marginalized and the citations arms race being stacked against them.

    This isn't really a problem that could be solved within the context of the forum, except hoping that pop history itself will become less biased over time.
     
  17. Dorozhand Queer Maoist

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    I came from a poor, rural background and learned quickly to appreciate actually existing material conditions, and to wonder why my community lived in poverty while others did not. I am and much of my extended biological family are autistic and mental illness runs in my family as well. I suffered from the body dysphoria for which I then had no name, and learned that in my rural culture and even in my own family, queer people and especially trans people were considered sick, necessarily assault victims, and potential serial killers. I was reacted to immediately and sometimes violently for breaking gender norms, and I lived in silent fear trying to embrace my assigned gender and being entirely unable to do so even after me and my mother were able to migrate to the Detroit area. I sank further into depression and became almost entirely isolated. I did poorly in school, though I learned a lot from the people I met, and did a lot of my reading informally and often alone. I couldn't afford a college education, but I liked to read as a layperson about any subject.

    I loved learning about languages, cultures, religions, sciences and ways of knowing, and the many histories that often get overlooked by eurocentric disciplines. I read Marx and Engels and their work made perfect sense to me, as I had seen at the ore docks, the paper mill, and Walmart what happens when people's lives are placed in the invisible hand and people can't unionize. I learned that the oppressed can come to understand their position and that the high bourgeoisie already did, making us slaves with false consciousness and empty ideas. My single mom and Pete Seeger taught me the value of organizing and sharing resources as much as Engels did, though. I read Lenin and saw how revolutions proceed from conditions but strike like lightning when the right moment is seized. Kollontai bound feminism with communism in my mind and catalyzed an understanding that the revolution had always depended on its feminism, counterculture, and pro-semitism, and backslid into patriarchal and natalist revision as a result of the purges of this core, which would otherwise have been allowed to grow as the oppressed peoples of the former empire became increasingly powerful.

    Through post-modernism I understood reclamation and deconstruction, and how by understanding and rearranging the parts with a critical eye, we can make old things new again. My grandmother taught me to "take what you need and leave the rest", and I learned to use this principle in resistant reading of problematic authors; gleaning their gems and discarding their discredited prejudices.

    As I came out of the closet and started on the path to dysphoria treatment, I leaned increasingly towards a 4th Wave feminism emphasizing the diversity of genders and the destruction of binarist thinking. Breaking my pelvis in a suicide attempt when I was younger really made me appreciate the history of medicine and the development of material solutions to human problems. History taught me never to dismiss the diversity of sentient experiences and never to confuse the map for the territory. It has taught me that many people have not had the luxury of a choice whether or not to take up the gun, and though by the gun many have conquered and enslaved, also by the gun have many freed themselves from slavery.

    It is worth remembering these things. It's worth remembering in general. That's how I got into history.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  18. Dorozhand Queer Maoist

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    One of the first AH thoughts I remember having is "What if Li Zicheng and Gao Guiying had solidified the Shun?" I was fascinated by their revolution and the movement to end the centuries of worsening conditions faced by women; the feminism that inspired Mao Zedong and served as a guide to establishing the New China.
     
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  19. Eldy If you try sometimes

    Joined:
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    Maryland
    Message boards generally lean more male than other formats for online communities, such as LiveJournal and its informal successor Tumblr. Not to say that there are no women on message boards or no men on Tumblr--I've been on a number of forums where the staff were predominately women even if the overall userbase was still majority-male--but the trend usually holds true.
     
  20. Ian the Admin Administrator Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    A quick check shows that roughly 40% of history PhDs go to women. I don't think interest in non-alternate history is all that gendered.

    The issue is probably more to do with AH as an interest. What we do here is analytical - when someone posts a timeline, people are expected to discuss/argue about the details. Posting a timeline gets you much more direct criticism than you see for most creative pursuits like fiction writing or visual arts.

    One of the biggest gender differences between men and (cis) women is that women avoid such direct confrontation.