How Can You Find Out Someone's Gender on the Internet?
By Robert Schrader
Though audio and video chat programs such as Skype and Google Chat are popular, it's still common to talk with online friends using text-only chat rooms. Of course, when you're chatting in this manner, you have no real idea of who the person on the other side of the conversation might be, regardless of any pictures or messages you receive. If you're chatting with someone online and want to know that person's true gender, you can use several means to figure this out.
Enter the the person's chat screen name in a search engine to see if any results reveal the person's identity. For example, if you're chatting with "anyperson123," use this as your search term and see if profiles on dating, chat or common interest websites -- which may specify the person's gender -- are returned.
Ask the person for an email address and search a social networking website such as Facebook or MySpace using this address. Enter the email address into the search field of the website, then click "Enter" and examine the results. You can discern the person's gender from the profile picture, name or -- if it's specified in the profile -- the gender itself.
Suggest that the two of you begin a video or voice chat session, using a free program such as Skype or Google Voice. Even if you don't have a webcam and can't engage in a video chat, hearing the person's voice will give you a good indication of the gender.
Ask the person directly if you suspect a lie about gender. If, for example, you're chatting with "prettygirl123" but don't believe the person behind the screen name is female, raise your concern in a respectful manner, so you don't offend the person either way. It's possible you could be chatting with a transgender person who's in the process of a gender reassignment, so it's important to be sensitive.
Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer, world traveler and creator of the award-winning blog Leave Your Daily Hell. When he's not out globetrotting, you can find him in beautiful Austin, TX, where he lives with his partner.