Yes, it’s a bit of a novelty, but it’s surprising how well it works. The Gender Genie is a simple site set up from an algorithm that was developed by Moshe Koppel of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon of Illinois Institute of Technology.
The idea is that it analyzes the language used by an author, and uses vocabulary and syntax to detect the probably gender of the author. Certain ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ keywords are parsed, and it uses those as flags to work out whether the author is male or female.
It works best with longer passages (500+ words), but it still works remarkably well with short excerpts. 4 out of 5 of my blog entries that I copy-pasted from this site came out as male – I must have been feeling a bit girly on the day I wrote the 5th…