This gem uses the underlying data from the program “gender” by Jorg Michael (described here). It's use is pretty straightforward:
>> require 'sexmachine' >> d = SexMachine::Detector.new >> d.get_gender("Bob") :male >> d.get_gender("Sally") :female >> d.get_gender("Pauley") # should be androgynous :andy
The result will be one of andy (androgynous), male, female, mostly_male, or mostly_female. Any unknown names are considered andies.
I18N is fully supported:
>> d.get_gender("Álfrún") :female
Additionally, you can give preference to specific countries:
>> d.get_gender("Jamie") => :female >> d.get_gender("Jamie", :great_britain) => :mostly_male
If you have an alterative data file, you can pass that in as an optional filename argument to the Detector. Additionally, you can create a detector that is not case sensitive (default is to be case sensitive):
>> d = SexMachine::Detector.new(:case_sensitive => false) >> d.get_gender "sally" => :female >> d.get_gender "Sally" => :female
Try to avoid creating many Detectors, as each creation means reading in the data file.
The genderator code is distributed under the GPLv3. The data file nam_dict.txt is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.