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Gender Identity and Handwriting

By Vivien Burr

Abstract

Previous research into gender differences in handwriting has found that judges can reliably differentiate between the writing of males and females. However, most of this research does not adequately explain these differences. In this paper I will present the findings for set of experiments which investigated the cues used by judges when identifying handwriting as male or female. Handwriting samples were judged for gender of writer in two adult samples. Accuracy was significantly better than chance, and was greater in a sample chosen for its experience at reading hand written scripts. Subjects used a number of cues in making their judgements, and these cues were found to be objective features of the scripts. It is argued that a) these cues are consistent with prevailing stereotypes of masculinity and femininity and b) that gender differences in handwriting style originate in the construction of gender identity and are a means of expressing and communicating that identit

Topics: H1, BF
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:2920
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