mini update

Thanks to Dr. Healey and the CS department at NCSU, I now have a crontab that auto-executes a Python program once every hour, which in turn updates this webpage. I can only work on it from school so the progress is slow, but at the moment it will print a statement about the most recent stats on the It’s On Us pledges.

The code is also storing the values in a CSV file to be later parsed by d3 and fed into some visualizations. More updates to follow - hopefully people continue to sign this pledge so I can have more than just a constant value to visualize!

it's on us - 2.0

Update on the project from my last post! After much struggling with my limited knowledge of Python, and much, much help from my brother and the good people at the IAA, I have finally gotten a Python program that scrapes the latest It’s On Us pledge list, compares the first names to the gender lists, and spits out a statement of calculations, like so (numbers current as of 8:30pm tonight):

Of 2143 current pledgers, 38.36 percent are male, 59.4 percent are female, and 2.24 percent are unclear.

You can see my code on Github, and get the gender lists from Carnegie Mellon.

Because I apparently can’t be finished with this, I’m hoping to have the code run automatically and record the results, or provide a link here that would run the calculation and give you an answer… but that would be a long way off.

it's on ... who?

[trigger warning]

Hopefully by now you’ve heard of the It’s On Us campaign against sexual assault. This campaign encourages people to pledge:

To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.

To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.

To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.

To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

Although sexual assault victims come in all shapes, sizes and genders, my sense on these campaigns is that they are usually more popular among women than men. This is frustrating because – although the statistics are tricky to capture and difficult to dig up online – common wisdom is that the overwhelming majority of rapists are male. Female rapists certainly exist, but the current dialogue is all about getting men to respect women and understand that sexual assault is not acceptable.

So when I heard about the It’s On Us campaign, I wondered whether adding my name would actually be helpful, and became curious as to the gender makeup of pledgers to date. The website lists the first and last names of all people who pledge through the website. First name is not always a great indicator of gender, but as it’s the only information we have (unless we can get access to profile information for people who used the Facebook authentication) it’ll have to do.

Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Science department has a neat set of text files that list common male and female names. I merged these files with the list of names on the It’s On Us website (as of about 10:30 a.m. on 9/23/2014) to assign a gender to each signer. If the name appeared on neither or both CMU’s male and female lists, I assigned this as a “T” for “tie”. So as of 10:30 this morning, here’s the breakdown of pledgers by gender:

I was impressed that only 5% of the names couldn’t clearly be identified by the CMU gender sets, and unsurprised by the 60/35 split of women and men.

The campaign is in its early phases and I hope to produce a later iteration of this analysis that allows me to refresh the results - but my programming skills are pretty young so I can’t promise much.

What do you think of these numbers and the campaign in general? Will you take the pledge?