Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Is Genealogy Sharing a "Female Thing"?

Share Key on a Computer Keyboard
A couple of months ago, Forbes published an article called "Why Sharing Is A Female Thing." Here are some quotes from this piece:

  • Men and women "communicate and collaborate differently";
  • The "double-X-chromosome set generally knows how to get along and get things done";
  • The "whole idea of sharing is very natural" to women; and
  • "[W]omen are conditioned to seek connection and commonality."

This got me thinking about sharing and genealogy. Since the purpose of blogging and social media is to share, are more genealogy bloggers female than male? Do more female users of Ancestry and other genealogy sites share their family trees with the public instead of keeping them private? Are there more female speakers sharing information at genealogy conferences than men? Is the library staff who is available to give you information about genealogy resources made up of more women than men?

Although the answer may be yes to some of the above questions, I'd like to think that it doesn't prove that gender is the reason that the genealogy community shares with one another. When a person shares, it may be due to one or more of a variety of factors: people with previous careers in teaching or training, for example; those who feel the rewards of sharing outweigh any costs; people who enjoy helping others; those who prefer being part of a group rather than participating in a solitary activity, etc. It seems to me that your motivation for sharing is the key factor, not your gender.

So, what do you think? Is any type of sharing, including in the realm of genealogy, more likely to be a female trait?

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