User profile should include sex?

Given that personal pronouns in english are gender-specific, doesn’t it make sense to include gender in a user profile? Some usernames make the user’s sex clear, but many do not, and some are misleading. There is potential for embarassment/offense if someone is referred to by the wrong gender. I believe that some people have even changed usernames after repeatedly being referred to by the wrong gender.

Unlike age, which 1) could lead to some people’s views being discounted by others, 2) some people would be embarrassed to admit, either because of its largeness or because of its smallness, and 3) would have to be updated annually, gender 1) is not a reason for discounting others’ views, at least among the civilized population of the sdmb (except on the most specific of topics) 2) is freely admitted by (almost) all without embarrassment, and 3) would never need to be updated, except in an extremely small portion of cases.

Further, the field labeled “Sex:” would give thousands of dopers the opportunity to make the joke “yes”, as well as countless variations.

I am not familiar with (or particularly interested in) the process of how this change might actually occur. Instead, my question is: is it a good idea?

Note: if I had to fill out the “Sex:” field, I would respond either “M” (because I am male) or “yes, please” (because I am polite).

Might be a good idea, if folk actually used it. With many of the SDMB denizens being Net-privacy savvy, I doubt there’d be many who would without a specific reason.

That aside, I say, why not – if the profile can be so edited.

Ice Wolf - female. :slight_smile:

Just reading th’ other similar thread, I see that it’s a VB programming issue, and out of the Admins’ hands. Might be worth keeping in the back of th’ mind, though.

So we can all be sexist as well as ageist? :rolleyes:

Why don’t we add a spot for “race”, “nationality”, “political party”, and “religion”, then all the various bigots, partisans, and male chauvinists can know exactly who they’re talking to, and can ignore posts and opinions accordingly?

One big vote here for “no”, on all counts. If a poster wants the world to know that information, it can go in the regular bio profile. “Hi, I’m Missy, I’m a teenage lesbian of Palestinian extraction who voted Republican in 2000 and worships on alternate Tuesdays at the website shrine of It! The Being From Beyond Space.” And then all her posts, in Great Debates especially, could be subsequently ignored by all the Old Fogies who don’t put much stock in teens’ opinions, and by the Fundies who think that pagans and gays are all going to hell, and by the Democrats who think the Republicans, ditto.

Not to mention what the militantly anti-Palestinian Doper faction would do to her. Ignoring her would be the gentlest thing they’d do.

And, besides, you wouldn’t have any way of knowing how much of this was true, would you? So what’s the point?

Also, it’s been better lately, but when I first registered there was a small but significant problem (in my eyes, at least) with some male posters in MPSIMS almost compulsively hitting on posters they perceived as female. It went beyond mere “flirting”, in some cases. It seemed like everything from a female poster, for these guys, boiled down to “sex”. Hence many of us who registered around that time chose names that were gender-neutral.

So I don’t see any point in making “gender” an issue in the profile.

**All I can say is, you must not spend that much time on the boards. :wink: I’ve seen plenty of threads where somebody said, “Well, yeah, you’re a girl, of course you’re going to say that…” Or, “Of course, you being male couldn’t possibly understand…”

And you can substitute race, nationality, religion, political party–I’ve seen all of them. “You’re not a Jew/Democrat/black/Catholic, you couldn’t possibly understand…”

I enjoy not knowing exactly who I’m talking to. It makes things quite bracing around here, IMO. Just ideas, being tossed around, out there in the ether…

People that want to have their sex known can put it in the Biography section of the profile.

Good post, knock knock!

I think it would also be cool if there was a place to attach a photo, so it can be seen along side of your posts. I’ve seen it on other VBulletin boards, so why not here?

I’ve heard it said that to use all the bells and whistles available as VBulletin features would slow the SDMB down too much.

Duck Duck Goose
As I read it, the most significant part of the OP was “Given that personal pronouns in english are gender-specific”. Obviously it would be a bad thing if people were hassled the way you describe, but there aren’t specifical grammatical errors that would arise in replies to a person without knowing their age, ethnicity etc. We already have details about our geographical location displayed (optionally), and I think it would be useful for people to be able to identify their gender if they wanted, but not for it to be obligatory. If it’s not technically feasible, then it’s not a issue of course.

Location comes up very often in discussions. Sex comes up often. Age comes up every now and then. Any of the three could be used for discrimination. There are people who would like to keep this information private. Most people, though, will tell you if you ask.

My point is that, except for a difference of degree in my first point, age, sex, and location are all on equal footing. IMO, any reason to have location listed is also a reason to have age and sex listed, and vice versa. Anyone who thinks that giving users the option of stating their age and sex is a violation of their privacy has clearly not thought it through.

I personally have been asked on this board for my age (though indirectly), my sex, and my location, each at least twice (which is why I have them all listed in my profile). Never once for race, political party, or religion. In my experience, this is not atypical.

Except for one important regard, of course, which is that vB has a field for Location, but not Age or Sex. So the discussion is moot, except in a purely theoretical sense.

Several reasons “why not here”.

1 - all those images uploaded to the SDMB server = a lot of extra space.
2 - serving all of those images = a lot of extra bandwidth.
3 - loading a page with all of those images = longer load times.
4 - policing the images. Who is going to check and make sure that user B isn’t using a closeup of Peter North’s penis as his picture? With as many members as this site has, it would be nearly impossible to keep control of that many user avatars.

I agree with DDG. One of the things I love about this place is that the emphasis is on the post, not the poster.

I often get confused for the opposite gender, and it neither offends or bothers me. I don’t expect people to know my gender, or remember me from another thread. If it’s relevant to the topic, I just add a note to my next post that I’m female, not male.

One more vote for, “No, that’s not that important here.”

Sheesh, go cruise a singles board.

I do think the user profile should include sexual experience. Those damn virgins just don’t get it.



The OP’s primary concern seems to be confusion of pronouns. While I suppose that it’s valid to consider this, in every case I’ve seen of mistaken gender on the boards, the net result is that everyone just got a bit of a laugh. People who would be upset at a mistaken gender generally choose unambiguous usernames.

knock knock, my post above sounds a bit ruder than I care to be. My apologies.

Let’s not forget that there are people on the Boards with ambiguous gender.

My friend once had someone in the chat room ask her A/S/L ? She thought they were asking if she knows american sign language :slight_smile:

I think that People can put a link to their website if they want with their photo then we can decide what gender they are & how old they are…

Send her to my Board. Sounds like my target Member. :wink:

Yeah, like that weird man FairyChatMom.

Whadda strange name for a guy.