Apricotpie: Statistical Analysis and Report, 2009

An Essay By James // 1/5/2010

Introduction
For a while now I have been frustrated at the lack of posts from the other men at this site. In December, it prompted me to pen a poem, wherein I wrote,
Are we really a witless and dull-headed bunch?
Can't our gender together write one fourth as much?

What I wrote is what I’m hoping for, that eventually there will be one work posted by a man for every four posted by women. I realize that in some activities and professions, there is a natural gender gap, and perhaps writing is one of them. So I do not expect the ratio to be even; yet I should think that a four-to-one ratio is quite reasonable.
I was dissatisfied. The current ratio, I knew, was far from four to every one. But what was it, really? Ten? Twenty? I looked back in the archives for all of the year 2009, and found my last guess was not far off.

Statistical results
Here are the results, month by month:
Month........Total...Women.....Men
January..........74..........68..........6
February........75..........72..........3
March............87..........85..........2
April..............92..........90..........2
May.............115.........108.........7
June...............81..........77..........4
July................69..........66..........3
August...........59..........55..........4
September......67..........65..........2
October..........58..........54..........4
November......42..........34..........8
December.......32..........29..........3
Total.............851........803........48

Out of 851 posts, 48 were written by men. Twelve men, that is, as follows:
I am Nate-Dude....14
James....................10
Ezra.........................7
Taylor.....................4
Timothy..................3
Arthur.....................2
Stephan...................2
Ian...........................2
Joseph.....................1
Nat..........................1
Gary........................1
Shane.......................1
The prize for posting goes to Nathaniel, otherwise known as Nate-Dude. He’s the only man who averaged more than one post a month, and he’s not even a monthly writer. Congradulations, Nathaniel.

What to do about the ratio
The ratio over the past year was 803 to 48, or about 16.73 for every 1. Conversely, that’s about 0.06 posts written by a man for every post written by a woman. That’s about 24% of the idealistic four-to-one goal.
Is a goal like this even attainable? What is the ratio of female to male users on Apricotpie? I did not have the time to spend to find out – and the results would probably not be a reliable indication, as there are a lot of “users” who no longer use Apricotpie – and if I eliminated everyone who hasn’t posted in over a year from the results, well… that’s more time than I’m willing to spend.
So, back to the question: is a goal like this even attainable? Consider this: the average number of total posts per month for 2009 is about 70, and posts by women about 67. Since Ben implemented some posting reforms in June, the actual number is probably closer to 60. To achieve our goal, we men need only to collectively average 15 posts a month. In 2009 we averaged exactly four posts a month. If I increase my posting to twice a month, and two other guys do the same, this would put us around 7 or 8 posts a month – twice as good as now, but still only half of what we need. In other words, if we men want to make a decent showing, we must make a joint effort. Not even three of us can carry the burden alone.

Category breakdown by gender
The only method I knew to count the total number of posts over the past year was to look under the three different categories of essays, poetry, and fiction. As a result, I started off with statistics already separated into the three categories. This provided an opportunity to obtain some interesting data; if I could have found a list of all the posts put together, I would never have bothered to separate them into categories. Evidently, men and women tend to have different preferences for the kinds of things they write.

Men (48)
Essays (15)..._________31%
Poetry (20)..._____________42%
Fiction (13)...________27%

Women (803)
Essays (110)...____14%
Poetry (268)...__________33%
Fiction (425)...________________53%

Although men seem to prefer writing poetry the most and fiction the least, it is fairly well divided. However, the women at Apricotpie seem to overwhelmingly prefer writing fiction, and invest a proportionately tiny amount of energy into writing essays. These are, of course, generalizations, since there could easily be as much difference between two women or two men in their writing preferences as between the two groups at large. It is nonetheless interesting. As a man looking at the statistics, though, it prompts me to ask the question: why? Why so much fiction, and so few essays? (Perhaps the women here will ask why so many essays and so little fiction?)

A Final Thought
I originally compiled statistics for posting over the past year to prove my point: that posting by men is woefully lacking at Apricotpie. And I did prove my point; yet I did not realize how interesting the study would prove. Besides gender posting preferences, there are many other things that could be studied: how the time of the year affects posting frequency, differences between posting habits of monthly and non-monthly writers, age gap preferences (assuming AP reports the age correctly), and even the historical trends of a nearly ten-year-old Apricotpie itself.

Comments

Extremely interesting, James.

Extremely interesting, James. The men really should post on here more :) It's funny, I've always thought of poetry as more of what women do, I mean proportionately, although I myself write very little of it. Thanks for this interesting survey, and keep writing!

Laura Elizabeth | Tue, 01/05/2010

*************************************************
The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

Very interesting...

Yay Nathaniel!!! *points* I'm related to him :P

Anyway, thank you, James, for this very interesting essay. I have noticed that there seem to be very few young men who are active writers. Sad, very sad. By my own observations, most boys seem to despise writing. I do not understand (Sam I Am)...

Ariel | Tue, 01/05/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Haha, this was very

Haha, this was very interesting! Yes, the posts by young men are sufficiently lacking. It's very sad, as OFG said, how few young men enjoy writing.  

Erin | Tue, 01/05/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I'm not sure it's so much

I'm not sure it's so much that they don't like it; rather that they might be thought of as unmanly.  I don't know why.  *shrugs*  It's twisted.

Bridget | Wed, 01/06/2010

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

whoa

Wow! I don't think I would have the patience to look through all the archives, though it would be a trip down memory lane. Very cool though! And it kind of made me laugh-- I didn't realize how excessively we women post every month, even with the limit! 
I think that it's not that men don't write, but rather that young men don't. Usually. I mean, I attend  a local writer's group, and it's very evenly split there between men and women. Whereas young women mostly all like to write, but when they get older they don't as much.
I woder if it has something to do with the old stigma: girls are more equipped for language, and boys for math and science. I don't think that stigma is correct, since in my opinion it's really up to the individual and what they like or don't like. But maybe young men are turned away from reading and writing, even subconsciously, because of that stigma. *shrug* Anyway, very interesting and also congrats to you and Nate-Dude for showing your faces around here despite the lack of men. :)

Hannah W. | Wed, 01/06/2010

Why do I write far more

Why do I write far more fiction that essays? Because I dislike writing essays. I always have. I've recently decided I need to do more organized thinking, like essays, but I'd rather make my time on ApricotPie enjoyable.

When I DO write essays, I always seem either to spark some kind of discussion, or to get dead silence.

Anna | Wed, 01/06/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

love it!

As a statistician, I absolutely loved your post James. Maybe tho, you could control for (ie, divide by) the number of men v. women monthly writers? Are there more woman writers in general? Which would also support your argument: More male writers are needed on AP! :D

 

I've been terrible lately at posting. I need a muse! I actually enjoy essay writings, but I feel so many of my pieces aren't really applicable here. But poetry's my favorite :).

Christa | Wed, 01/06/2010

Interesting

I just turned the stats on myself, and find myself to be almost an exaggeration of the men's group.  Here's what I mean:

James(23)
Essays (12)...________________52%
Poetry (8).....__________34%
Fiction (3).....____13%

Talk about lopsided.

It's not that I don't like writing fiction -- I love it the most.  It's just a lot harder for me -- I'm a perfectionist, and I can satisfy my perfectionism much more easily with poetry and essays than I can with fiction.  Poetry -- all I've got to do is not waist words, avoid clichés, and match the rhyme and rhythm.  Essays -- just make a coherent water-tight argument.  Or make the thought flow.  But fiction -- there are so many more demensions to deal with.  A very complicated business.  Especially when you're trying to create a universe...

I think the biggest factor for why men aren't writing very much has to do with men more easily getting caught in the business of life and not having time for writing.  We've got some men on this site who enjoy writing, but have simply been too busy to post much (my brother Ezra for example... although, I might say, he's currently cooking up a very epic poem).

Christa:  I followed your advice.  Here are the results:

 

Women (22)
Aisling.............12
Amy...................6
Anna................36
Brianna............12
Caitlyn...............1
Christa...............4
Clare Marie......24
Elizabeth..........17
Erin..................75
Hannah W........57
Heather.............16
Jenny..................0
Kyleigh.............21
Mairead............20
Mary.................17
Nikki..................0 _ _ _ Men (6)
Raen...................5 _ _ _ Ben............3
Raine..................7 _ _ _ Gary..........1
Roxanna.............9 _ _ _ James.......10
Sarah................10 _ _ _ Shane........1
Sarah Bethany..10 _ _ _ Taylor.........4
Tamerah.............1 _ _ _ Timothy......3
Total...............360 _ _ _ Total..........22
Average...........16.36 _ _ Average….3.67

I'm afraid the problem isn't just that there's not enough men... the men we do have don't post enough.

James | Wed, 01/06/2010

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

I have to admit I am guilty

I have to admit I am guilty of leaving Apricotpie for a time being and am very ashamed of myself for it. i have been busy with writing actually and other things but I'm just beginning to plot my new fiction series and I don't know what little stories in the meantime I could write about!

To my fellow writers,

Women: Applause! Thank you! You are simply amazing.

Men: I don't want to diss the men completely because I understand them a little. I only posted one post last year. But it would definitely be nice to see some more posts by men again.

Maethorwen (not verified) | Thu, 01/07/2010

I'm glad Ezra is cooking up

I'm glad Ezra is cooking up an epic poem-- really I am-- but shouldn't you be working on one as well?

You promised me long ago  and I'm not letting you get away with not keeping it!

Anna | Thu, 01/07/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Fascinating...

Fascinating...

Clare Marie | Sat, 01/09/2010

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.