Not only does age play a role as a factor that influences people’s linguistic choices but so does gender. Research on gender differences is still relatively new and is by no means conclusive. There are some differences worth noting between male and female speech that linguistic profilers have considered when analyzing letters. Many of the differences worth considering are aspects such as the use of hedges and politeness markers. Women use hedges more than men because women tend to care more about pursuing a style of interaction based on mutual agreement. Other characteristics of female language according to Robin Lakoff are that women more so use empty adjectives (e.g., “lovely” and “cute”) and intensifiers (e.
g., “just” and “so”) (Philips 1980). Women often use intensifiers along with emotional words that express how one may be feeling, therefore, a woman more than likely will say “I am so happy” as opposed to a man, he may just say “I am happy.” Of course, there are many other characteristics that professionals keep in mind especially in the forensics field when analyzing writings, but the ones I noted are the very few that play an impact in deciding whether the writer is male or female.
Although some linguistic profilers make successful gender hypothesis’ based on linguistic choices on one’s writings, they share a fair amount of failed hypothesis’ as well. Failures like these put to show that the information about linguistic differences between male and female don’t always work out to be true for everyone. In The Gary Indiana Women’s Medical Clinic Case, it involved a bomb treat writer who used many tentative and hedged expressions like, “it seems like,” and “I suppose I should have.” The writer also relied heavily on expressions of feelings, such as “I deeply regret,” and “I was so upset.
” As I mentioned before “so” is an intensifier than women most commonly use rather than men do so the fact that the writer in this case often used this emotional intensifier, it led the linguistic profiler to have further reason to believe that the threat writer was female. It’s difficult to imagine that most male threat writers would use such language, therefore it is easily understandable why one would hypothesize the author to be female, even though this was later proven to be wrong.