Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

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Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Baptiste Fontaine
Hello,

Due to a lot of free time these days I started a personal research project
on gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia.

My goal is to explore the relation between contributor genders and the
people they create articles about. The hypotheses are:
1- contributors predominantly write biographies of people with the same
   gender. Simplistically: men write about men; women write about women.
2- there are a lot fewer female contributors than male ones. This has been
   studied in the past but AFAIK we don’t have recent numbers and they are
   all on the English-language WP.

If these two hypotheses are true, this could explain part of the problem
with gender bias in biographies.

What I’m struggling with –And I guess some people before me did as well on
the English-language WP– is the very low level of information we have on
contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
their gender in their user settings.

Does anyone have any pointer on this?


More insights below:

Looking at the contributors with ≥500 edits, 2.4% are auto-declared as
female; 27.4% as male; 70.2% as 'unknown' (undeclared).

By definition, there’s no apparent way to know the approximate gender
repartition of the undeclared-gender accounts.

The French-language Wikipedia shows male- and unknown-gender user pages
with the 'Utilisateur:' prefix while the female-gender user pages use the
'Utilisatrice:' prefix. Based on this, one would assume that women would
be more inclined toward declaring their gender so that the interface would
stop misgendering them. However, we know that female users tend to
under-declare their gender to protect themselves.

I assumed that older accounts would be more inclined toward having a
declared gender but that’s not the case: >60% of accounts of all ages
(except the very old ones but the sample is very small) have not declared
their gender, see:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_repartition_of_Le_Bistro_WP-fr_users_by_account_age.png

Some users have user boxes on their user page with various info. Some of
them declare their gender. Surprisingly however, most of the users with
these boxes have not declared their gender in their preferences.

Out of the 434 users with a "I’m a woman" user box on their page, only
32% are auto-declared as female. Same ratio for the 2773 "I’m a man" users:
only 34% are auto-declared as male. It goes up to 36 % for the "I’m a
lesbian" box (N=14) and 40% for the "I’m a gay" one (N=86).

As I expected, predominantly-male professions have a larger male population
in their box usage, but still an even larger 'unknown' population:
Out of the 640 "I’m an engineer" box users, 24% self-declared as 'male' and
1% as 'female'. For the 714 "I’m a computers person", that’s 27.7% and 0.6%.

However some boxes where I wouldn’t expect a large bias have one as well.
The Babel Italian users are 18% male and 2% female (N=2885). The Esperanto
ones are 24.5% male and 0.8% female (N=493).

There is certainly a bias in box usage: newer users tend to use them a lot
less than older users, and I would assume users who talk about themselves
with boxes don’t have the same profile as the average contributor.


Thanks,

--
Baptiste Fontaine


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Re: Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Jane Darnell
Two questions:
1) Why do you think "contributor genders" write articles about people?
2) Why do you want to explore the relationship between the genders of
articles about people and the genders of the contributors to those
articles?

It's more interesting to discover how well the Wikipedia article gender
ratios per occupation/period measure up to the various supporting
(academic) literature databases used as references for those articles.

On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 2:14 PM Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Due to a lot of free time these days I started a personal research project
> on gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia.
>
> My goal is to explore the relation between contributor genders and the
> people they create articles about. The hypotheses are:
> 1- contributors predominantly write biographies of people with the same
>    gender. Simplistically: men write about men; women write about women.
> 2- there are a lot fewer female contributors than male ones. This has been
>    studied in the past but AFAIK we don’t have recent numbers and they are
>    all on the English-language WP.
>
> If these two hypotheses are true, this could explain part of the problem
> with gender bias in biographies.
>
> What I’m struggling with –And I guess some people before me did as well on
> the English-language WP– is the very low level of information we have on
> contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
> their gender in their user settings.
>
> Does anyone have any pointer on this?
>
>
> More insights below:
>
> Looking at the contributors with ≥500 edits, 2.4% are auto-declared as
> female; 27.4% as male; 70.2% as 'unknown' (undeclared).
>
> By definition, there’s no apparent way to know the approximate gender
> repartition of the undeclared-gender accounts.
>
> The French-language Wikipedia shows male- and unknown-gender user pages
> with the 'Utilisateur:' prefix while the female-gender user pages use the
> 'Utilisatrice:' prefix. Based on this, one would assume that women would
> be more inclined toward declaring their gender so that the interface would
> stop misgendering them. However, we know that female users tend to
> under-declare their gender to protect themselves.
>
> I assumed that older accounts would be more inclined toward having a
> declared gender but that’s not the case: >60% of accounts of all ages
> (except the very old ones but the sample is very small) have not declared
> their gender, see:
>
>
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_repartition_of_Le_Bistro_WP-fr_users_by_account_age.png
>
> Some users have user boxes on their user page with various info. Some of
> them declare their gender. Surprisingly however, most of the users with
> these boxes have not declared their gender in their preferences.
>
> Out of the 434 users with a "I’m a woman" user box on their page, only
> 32% are auto-declared as female. Same ratio for the 2773 "I’m a man" users:
> only 34% are auto-declared as male. It goes up to 36 % for the "I’m a
> lesbian" box (N=14) and 40% for the "I’m a gay" one (N=86).
>
> As I expected, predominantly-male professions have a larger male population
> in their box usage, but still an even larger 'unknown' population:
> Out of the 640 "I’m an engineer" box users, 24% self-declared as 'male' and
> 1% as 'female'. For the 714 "I’m a computers person", that’s 27.7% and
> 0.6%.
>
> However some boxes where I wouldn’t expect a large bias have one as well.
> The Babel Italian users are 18% male and 2% female (N=2885). The Esperanto
> ones are 24.5% male and 0.8% female (N=493).
>
> There is certainly a bias in box usage: newer users tend to use them a lot
> less than older users, and I would assume users who talk about themselves
> with boxes don’t have the same profile as the average contributor.
>
>
> Thanks,
>
> --
> Baptiste Fontaine
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Baptiste Fontaine
1) bad English from me: it should read as “…the relation between the gender
of the contributors and the people they (the contributors) create articles
about.”

2) Two reasons I often read to explain the gender bias in biographies are
(1) the lower amount of sources on women vs. men and (2) the lower number
of female contributors, which causes fewer and less-developed articles
about women and woman-centered subjects. I recently read a thread on 'Le
Bistro', the main discussion page on WP:FR, where some argued (1) is the
main reason and (2) is a non-problem; while some others wrote that (2) is
as much as an issue as (1).
I felt that (2) would be easier to study than (1) because "all" you have to
do is check if (a) there are fewer female contributors and (b) they write
more female biographies than male contributors do. I’d be glad to work on
(1) but I’m not sure where to start.


--
Baptiste Fontaine

> Le 22 mai 2020 à 20:31, Jane Darnell <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
> Two questions:
> 1) Why do you think "contributor genders" write articles about people?
> 2) Why do you want to explore the relationship between the genders of
> articles about people and the genders of the contributors to those
> articles?
>
> It's more interesting to discover how well the Wikipedia article gender
> ratios per occupation/period measure up to the various supporting
> (academic) literature databases used as references for those articles.
>
> On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 2:14 PM Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>> Due to a lot of free time these days I started a personal research project
>> on gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia.
>>
>> My goal is to explore the relation between contributor genders and the
>> people they create articles about. The hypotheses are:
>> 1- contributors predominantly write biographies of people with the same
>>   gender. Simplistically: men write about men; women write about women.
>> 2- there are a lot fewer female contributors than male ones. This has been
>>   studied in the past but AFAIK we don’t have recent numbers and they are
>>   all on the English-language WP.
>>
>> If these two hypotheses are true, this could explain part of the problem
>> with gender bias in biographies.
>>
>> What I’m struggling with –And I guess some people before me did as well on
>> the English-language WP– is the very low level of information we have on
>> contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
>> their gender in their user settings.
>>
>> Does anyone have any pointer on this?
>>
>>
>> More insights below:
>>
>> Looking at the contributors with ≥500 edits, 2.4% are auto-declared as
>> female; 27.4% as male; 70.2% as 'unknown' (undeclared).
>>
>> By definition, there’s no apparent way to know the approximate gender
>> repartition of the undeclared-gender accounts.
>>
>> The French-language Wikipedia shows male- and unknown-gender user pages
>> with the 'Utilisateur:' prefix while the female-gender user pages use the
>> 'Utilisatrice:' prefix. Based on this, one would assume that women would
>> be more inclined toward declaring their gender so that the interface would
>> stop misgendering them. However, we know that female users tend to
>> under-declare their gender to protect themselves.
>>
>> I assumed that older accounts would be more inclined toward having a
>> declared gender but that’s not the case: >60% of accounts of all ages
>> (except the very old ones but the sample is very small) have not declared
>> their gender, see:
>>
>>
>> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_repartition_of_Le_Bistro_WP-fr_users_by_account_age.png
>>
>> Some users have user boxes on their user page with various info. Some of
>> them declare their gender. Surprisingly however, most of the users with
>> these boxes have not declared their gender in their preferences.
>>
>> Out of the 434 users with a "I’m a woman" user box on their page, only
>> 32% are auto-declared as female. Same ratio for the 2773 "I’m a man" users:
>> only 34% are auto-declared as male. It goes up to 36 % for the "I’m a
>> lesbian" box (N=14) and 40% for the "I’m a gay" one (N=86).
>>
>> As I expected, predominantly-male professions have a larger male population
>> in their box usage, but still an even larger 'unknown' population:
>> Out of the 640 "I’m an engineer" box users, 24% self-declared as 'male' and
>> 1% as 'female'. For the 714 "I’m a computers person", that’s 27.7% and
>> 0.6%.
>>
>> However some boxes where I wouldn’t expect a large bias have one as well.
>> The Babel Italian users are 18% male and 2% female (N=2885). The Esperanto
>> ones are 24.5% male and 0.8% female (N=493).
>>
>> There is certainly a bias in box usage: newer users tend to use them a lot
>> less than older users, and I would assume users who talk about themselves
>> with boxes don’t have the same profile as the average contributor.
>>
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> --
>> Baptiste Fontaine
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wiki-research-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Jérôme Hergueux
In reply to this post by Baptiste Fontaine

Hi Baptiste, 



Interesting research endeavor! :)



At a substantive level, this paper does say something about the question you care about, using a hypothetical survey experiment: http://marit.hinnosaar.net/wikipediagender.pdf



Technically, the following paper tries to develop automated ways to infer gender from wp usernames (I don't know of any effort focused in a language other than English, however):

https://wikiworkshop.org/2018/papers/wikiworkshop2018_paper_20.pdf



Jérôme


De : Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
À : [hidden email]
Sujet : [Wiki-research-l] Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia
Date : 22/05/2020 14:13:58 Europe/Paris

Hello,

Due to a lot of free time these days I started a personal research project
on gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia.

My goal is to explore the relation between contributor genders and the
people they create articles about. The hypotheses are:
1- contributors predominantly write biographies of people with the same
gender. Simplistically: men write about men; women write about women.
2- there are a lot fewer female contributors than male ones. This has been
studied in the past but AFAIK we don’t have recent numbers and they are
all on the English-language WP.

If these two hypotheses are true, this could explain part of the problem
with gender bias in biographies.

What I’m struggling with –And I guess some people before me did as well on
the English-language WP– is the very low level of information we have on
contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
their gender in their user settings.

Does anyone have any pointer on this?


More insights below:

Looking at the contributors with ≥500 edits, 2.4% are auto-declared as
female; 27.4% as male; 70.2% as 'unknown' (undeclared).

By definition, there’s no apparent way to know the approximate gender
repartition of the undeclared-gender accounts.

The French-language Wikipedia shows male- and unknown-gender user pages
with the 'Utilisateur:' prefix while the female-gender user pages use the
'Utilisatrice:' prefix. Based on this, one would assume that women would
be more inclined toward declaring their gender so that the interface would
stop misgendering them. However, we know that female users tend to
under-declare their gender to protect themselves.

I assumed that older accounts would be more inclined toward having a
declared gender but that’s not the case: >60% of accounts of all ages
(except the very old ones but the sample is very small) have not declared
their gender, see:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_repartition_of_Le_Bistro_WP-fr_users_by_account_age.png

Some users have user boxes on their user page with various info. Some of
them declare their gender. Surprisingly however, most of the users with
these boxes have not declared their gender in their preferences.

Out of the 434 users with a "I’m a woman" user box on their page, only
32% are auto-declared as female. Same ratio for the 2773 "I’m a man" users:
only 34% are auto-declared as male. It goes up to 36 % for the "I’m a
lesbian" box (N=14) and 40% for the "I’m a gay" one (N=86).

As I expected, predominantly-male professions have a larger male population
in their box usage, but still an even larger 'unknown' population:
Out of the 640 "I’m an engineer" box users, 24% self-declared as 'male' and
1% as 'female'. For the 714 "I’m a computers person", that’s 27.7% and 0.6%.

However some boxes where I wouldn’t expect a large bias have one as well.
The Babel Italian users are 18% male and 2% female (N=2885). The Esperanto
ones are 24.5% male and 0.8% female (N=493).

There is certainly a bias in box usage: newer users tend to use them a lot
less than older users, and I would assume users who talk about themselves
with boxes don’t have the same profile as the average contributor.


Thanks,

--
Baptiste Fontaine


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Re: Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Jane Darnell
In reply to this post by Baptiste Fontaine
Ah OK thanks, that does clarify quite a bit, and of course I am happy to
read you were inspired by ongoing efforts by Wikipedians. I myself
contribute quite a bit on Wikimedia projects and have thought a lot about
this problem, which I should stress is not just an issue for women, but
also for all minorities. Under "minorities" I mean anything not mainstream,
so regarding contributors, that would not just include women, but includes
any non-male gender, and anyone non-white, or not-English-speaking, or
not-living-in-a-city, or not-having-access-to-a-library, etc.

That said, the article gendergap is one of the (very) few things that we
can measure, using the wikidata query service and the gender properties.
The contributor gendergap is not measurable, as you have already
discovered. Under the "article gendergap", which is currently measured as
"percentage of articles about female humans out of the total number of
articles about humans per language Wikipedia", there are various projects
per language Wikipedia and the French Wikipedia is particularly active.

If you want to contribute a study that will benefit the larger Francophile
community using the French Wikipedia as a source, than I suggest trying to
narrow your selection of articles to some specific domain of study, like a
sport, or a branch of manufacturing, or an art, or branch of science.
Within that selection (say 100 articles including the thing under study)
just manually count the number of illustrations with women in them vs. men,
or the number of words per article about a woman vs about a man, or the
number of references per article per gender, or the number of references on
any of the articles, written by a woman vs written by a man, etc. So go
deeper than just the binary of "gender of human that is the subject of the
article". If you want to start with contributors, just ask around all your
friends and family to find out who has ever contributed to Wikimedia
projects and ask them their personal motivation, whether they were
encouraged or discouraged while editing and why or by whom, etc.

On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 11:15 AM Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> 1) bad English from me: it should read as “…the relation between the gender
> of the contributors and the people they (the contributors) create articles
> about.”
>
> 2) Two reasons I often read to explain the gender bias in biographies are
> (1) the lower amount of sources on women vs. men and (2) the lower number
> of female contributors, which causes fewer and less-developed articles
> about women and woman-centered subjects. I recently read a thread on 'Le
> Bistro', the main discussion page on WP:FR, where some argued (1) is the
> main reason and (2) is a non-problem; while some others wrote that (2) is
> as much as an issue as (1).
> I felt that (2) would be easier to study than (1) because "all" you have to
> do is check if (a) there are fewer female contributors and (b) they write
> more female biographies than male contributors do. I’d be glad to work on
> (1) but I’m not sure where to start.
>
>
> --
> Baptiste Fontaine
>
> > Le 22 mai 2020 à 20:31, Jane Darnell <[hidden email]> a écrit :
> >
> > Two questions:
> > 1) Why do you think "contributor genders" write articles about people?
> > 2) Why do you want to explore the relationship between the genders of
> > articles about people and the genders of the contributors to those
> > articles?
> >
> > It's more interesting to discover how well the Wikipedia article gender
> > ratios per occupation/period measure up to the various supporting
> > (academic) literature databases used as references for those articles.
> >
> > On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 2:14 PM Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >> Due to a lot of free time these days I started a personal research
> project
> >> on gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia.
> >>
> >> My goal is to explore the relation between contributor genders and the
> >> people they create articles about. The hypotheses are:
> >> 1- contributors predominantly write biographies of people with the same
> >>   gender. Simplistically: men write about men; women write about women.
> >> 2- there are a lot fewer female contributors than male ones. This has
> been
> >>   studied in the past but AFAIK we don’t have recent numbers and they
> are
> >>   all on the English-language WP.
> >>
> >> If these two hypotheses are true, this could explain part of the problem
> >> with gender bias in biographies.
> >>
> >> What I’m struggling with –And I guess some people before me did as well
> on
> >> the English-language WP– is the very low level of information we have on
> >> contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
> >> their gender in their user settings.
> >>
> >> Does anyone have any pointer on this?
> >>
> >>
> >> More insights below:
> >>
> >> Looking at the contributors with ≥500 edits, 2.4% are auto-declared as
> >> female; 27.4% as male; 70.2% as 'unknown' (undeclared).
> >>
> >> By definition, there’s no apparent way to know the approximate gender
> >> repartition of the undeclared-gender accounts.
> >>
> >> The French-language Wikipedia shows male- and unknown-gender user pages
> >> with the 'Utilisateur:' prefix while the female-gender user pages use
> the
> >> 'Utilisatrice:' prefix. Based on this, one would assume that women would
> >> be more inclined toward declaring their gender so that the interface
> would
> >> stop misgendering them. However, we know that female users tend to
> >> under-declare their gender to protect themselves.
> >>
> >> I assumed that older accounts would be more inclined toward having a
> >> declared gender but that’s not the case: >60% of accounts of all ages
> >> (except the very old ones but the sample is very small) have not
> declared
> >> their gender, see:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_repartition_of_Le_Bistro_WP-fr_users_by_account_age.png
> >>
> >> Some users have user boxes on their user page with various info. Some of
> >> them declare their gender. Surprisingly however, most of the users with
> >> these boxes have not declared their gender in their preferences.
> >>
> >> Out of the 434 users with a "I’m a woman" user box on their page, only
> >> 32% are auto-declared as female. Same ratio for the 2773 "I’m a man"
> users:
> >> only 34% are auto-declared as male. It goes up to 36 % for the "I’m a
> >> lesbian" box (N=14) and 40% for the "I’m a gay" one (N=86).
> >>
> >> As I expected, predominantly-male professions have a larger male
> population
> >> in their box usage, but still an even larger 'unknown' population:
> >> Out of the 640 "I’m an engineer" box users, 24% self-declared as 'male'
> and
> >> 1% as 'female'. For the 714 "I’m a computers person", that’s 27.7% and
> >> 0.6%.
> >>
> >> However some boxes where I wouldn’t expect a large bias have one as
> well.
> >> The Babel Italian users are 18% male and 2% female (N=2885). The
> Esperanto
> >> ones are 24.5% male and 0.8% female (N=493).
> >>
> >> There is certainly a bias in box usage: newer users tend to use them a
> lot
> >> less than older users, and I would assume users who talk about
> themselves
> >> with boxes don’t have the same profile as the average contributor.
> >>
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >>
> >> --
> >> Baptiste Fontaine
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Baptiste Fontaine
Baptiste Fontaine, 22/05/20 15:13:
> very low level of information we have on
> contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
> their gender in their user settings.
>
> Does anyone have any pointer on this?

The gender preference has nothing whatever to do with people's gender.
It's only a preference about the grammatical gender to be used in the
interface.

More information available at:
https://translatewiki.net/wiki/Gender

Federico

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Re: Measuring gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia

Baptiste Fontaine
In reply to this post by Jane Darnell
Thank you, I’ll look into that. Thank you Jérôme as well for the two
pointers; the first paper did exactly what I was trying to achieve,
although in a different language.

Thank you Federico as well for the link.

-- Baptiste

> Le 24 mai 2020 à 14:30, Jane Darnell <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
> Ah OK thanks, that does clarify quite a bit, and of course I am happy to
> read you were inspired by ongoing efforts by Wikipedians. I myself
> contribute quite a bit on Wikimedia projects and have thought a lot about
> this problem, which I should stress is not just an issue for women, but
> also for all minorities. Under "minorities" I mean anything not mainstream,
> so regarding contributors, that would not just include women, but includes
> any non-male gender, and anyone non-white, or not-English-speaking, or
> not-living-in-a-city, or not-having-access-to-a-library, etc.
>
> That said, the article gendergap is one of the (very) few things that we
> can measure, using the wikidata query service and the gender properties.
> The contributor gendergap is not measurable, as you have already
> discovered. Under the "article gendergap", which is currently measured as
> "percentage of articles about female humans out of the total number of
> articles about humans per language Wikipedia", there are various projects
> per language Wikipedia and the French Wikipedia is particularly active.
>
> If you want to contribute a study that will benefit the larger Francophile
> community using the French Wikipedia as a source, than I suggest trying to
> narrow your selection of articles to some specific domain of study, like a
> sport, or a branch of manufacturing, or an art, or branch of science.
> Within that selection (say 100 articles including the thing under study)
> just manually count the number of illustrations with women in them vs. men,
> or the number of words per article about a woman vs about a man, or the
> number of references per article per gender, or the number of references on
> any of the articles, written by a woman vs written by a man, etc. So go
> deeper than just the binary of "gender of human that is the subject of the
> article". If you want to start with contributors, just ask around all your
> friends and family to find out who has ever contributed to Wikimedia
> projects and ask them their personal motivation, whether they were
> encouraged or discouraged while editing and why or by whom, etc.
>
> On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 11:15 AM Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> 1) bad English from me: it should read as “…the relation between the gender
>> of the contributors and the people they (the contributors) create articles
>> about.”
>>
>> 2) Two reasons I often read to explain the gender bias in biographies are
>> (1) the lower amount of sources on women vs. men and (2) the lower number
>> of female contributors, which causes fewer and less-developed articles
>> about women and woman-centered subjects. I recently read a thread on 'Le
>> Bistro', the main discussion page on WP:FR, where some argued (1) is the
>> main reason and (2) is a non-problem; while some others wrote that (2) is
>> as much as an issue as (1).
>> I felt that (2) would be easier to study than (1) because "all" you have to
>> do is check if (a) there are fewer female contributors and (b) they write
>> more female biographies than male contributors do. I’d be glad to work on
>> (1) but I’m not sure where to start.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Baptiste Fontaine
>>
>>> Le 22 mai 2020 à 20:31, Jane Darnell <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>>>
>>> Two questions:
>>> 1) Why do you think "contributor genders" write articles about people?
>>> 2) Why do you want to explore the relationship between the genders of
>>> articles about people and the genders of the contributors to those
>>> articles?
>>>
>>> It's more interesting to discover how well the Wikipedia article gender
>>> ratios per occupation/period measure up to the various supporting
>>> (academic) literature databases used as references for those articles.
>>>
>>> On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 2:14 PM Baptiste Fontaine <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hello,
>>>>
>>>> Due to a lot of free time these days I started a personal research
>> project
>>>> on gender bias in contributors to the French-language Wikipedia.
>>>>
>>>> My goal is to explore the relation between contributor genders and the
>>>> people they create articles about. The hypotheses are:
>>>> 1- contributors predominantly write biographies of people with the same
>>>>  gender. Simplistically: men write about men; women write about women.
>>>> 2- there are a lot fewer female contributors than male ones. This has
>> been
>>>>  studied in the past but AFAIK we don’t have recent numbers and they
>> are
>>>>  all on the English-language WP.
>>>>
>>>> If these two hypotheses are true, this could explain part of the problem
>>>> with gender bias in biographies.
>>>>
>>>> What I’m struggling with –And I guess some people before me did as well
>> on
>>>> the English-language WP– is the very low level of information we have on
>>>> contributors’ genders: on WP:FR, 60-70% of contributors have not changed
>>>> their gender in their user settings.
>>>>
>>>> Does anyone have any pointer on this?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> More insights below:
>>>>
>>>> Looking at the contributors with ≥500 edits, 2.4% are auto-declared as
>>>> female; 27.4% as male; 70.2% as 'unknown' (undeclared).
>>>>
>>>> By definition, there’s no apparent way to know the approximate gender
>>>> repartition of the undeclared-gender accounts.
>>>>
>>>> The French-language Wikipedia shows male- and unknown-gender user pages
>>>> with the 'Utilisateur:' prefix while the female-gender user pages use
>> the
>>>> 'Utilisatrice:' prefix. Based on this, one would assume that women would
>>>> be more inclined toward declaring their gender so that the interface
>> would
>>>> stop misgendering them. However, we know that female users tend to
>>>> under-declare their gender to protect themselves.
>>>>
>>>> I assumed that older accounts would be more inclined toward having a
>>>> declared gender but that’s not the case: >60% of accounts of all ages
>>>> (except the very old ones but the sample is very small) have not
>> declared
>>>> their gender, see:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gender_repartition_of_Le_Bistro_WP-fr_users_by_account_age.png
>>>>
>>>> Some users have user boxes on their user page with various info. Some of
>>>> them declare their gender. Surprisingly however, most of the users with
>>>> these boxes have not declared their gender in their preferences.
>>>>
>>>> Out of the 434 users with a "I’m a woman" user box on their page, only
>>>> 32% are auto-declared as female. Same ratio for the 2773 "I’m a man"
>> users:
>>>> only 34% are auto-declared as male. It goes up to 36 % for the "I’m a
>>>> lesbian" box (N=14) and 40% for the "I’m a gay" one (N=86).
>>>>
>>>> As I expected, predominantly-male professions have a larger male
>> population
>>>> in their box usage, but still an even larger 'unknown' population:
>>>> Out of the 640 "I’m an engineer" box users, 24% self-declared as 'male'
>> and
>>>> 1% as 'female'. For the 714 "I’m a computers person", that’s 27.7% and
>>>> 0.6%.
>>>>
>>>> However some boxes where I wouldn’t expect a large bias have one as
>> well.
>>>> The Babel Italian users are 18% male and 2% female (N=2885). The
>> Esperanto
>>>> ones are 24.5% male and 0.8% female (N=493).
>>>>
>>>> There is certainly a bias in box usage: newer users tend to use them a
>> lot
>>>> less than older users, and I would assume users who talk about
>> themselves
>>>> with boxes don’t have the same profile as the average contributor.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Baptiste Fontaine
>>>>
>>>>
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