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Table 4 reports the estimated average marginal effects of gender on transition probabilities from purely professional topics under different types of thread titles. In threads with purely professional titles, the mention of a female in the middle of a discussion leads to a significant 2.8 to 4.2 percentage point decrease in the probability of staying on purely professional topics, whereas the mention of a male shows insignificant difference from the baseline where the prior post is not gendered. The gender gap in this dimension is most salient in threads that are initially professional and mention a male in the title. Posters selected into male-oriented threads may be particularly reluctant to see professional discussions about women, which are perceived as a “pollution” to their own group and pose an identity threat. Nevertheless, the selection hypothesis does not explain why there is also a significant lack of persistence in professional topics under initially gender-neutral threads.

Table 4.
Average Marginal Effects of Gender on Transitions under Different Initial Conditions
(1) Staying on Purely Professional(2) Professional Personal
FemaleMaleFemaleMale
By characteristics of titles     
Purely Professional and Genderless −0.0288 −0.0067 0.0106 0.0013 
 (0.0051) (0.0020) (0.0033) (0.0014) 
Purely Professional and Female −0.0277 −0.0105 0.0274 −0.0007 
 (0.0103) (0.0110) (0.0059) (0.0057) 
Purely Professional and Male −0.0415 0.0014 0.0153 0.0008 
 (0.0125) (0.0040) (0.0074) (0.0026) 
Personal and Genderless −0.0226 −0.0089 0.0152 −0.0001 
 (0.0122) (0.0074) (0.0058) (0.0036) 
Personal and Female −0.0203 −0.0130 0.0304 −0.0018 
 (0.0152) (0.0128) (0.0076) (0.0057) 
Personal and Male −0.0351 −0.0006 0.0195 −0.0005 
 (0.0171) (0.0083) (0.0086) (0.0041) 
(1) Staying on Purely Professional(2) Professional Personal
FemaleMaleFemaleMale
By characteristics of titles     
Purely Professional and Genderless −0.0288 −0.0067 0.0106 0.0013 
 (0.0051) (0.0020) (0.0033) (0.0014) 
Purely Professional and Female −0.0277 −0.0105 0.0274 −0.0007 
 (0.0103) (0.0110) (0.0059) (0.0057) 
Purely Professional and Male −0.0415 0.0014 0.0153 0.0008 
 (0.0125) (0.0040) (0.0074) (0.0026) 
Personal and Genderless −0.0226 −0.0089 0.0152 −0.0001 
 (0.0122) (0.0074) (0.0058) (0.0036) 
Personal and Female −0.0203 −0.0130 0.0304 −0.0018 
 (0.0152) (0.0128) (0.0076) (0.0057) 
Personal and Male −0.0351 −0.0006 0.0195 −0.0005 
 (0.0171) (0.0083) (0.0086) (0.0041) 

This table displays the average marginal effects of the prior mention of a female or a male on the probability of (a) staying on purely professional topics and (b) moving from purely professional to personal topics, relative to the baseline where the prior post is not gendered. Standard errors in parentheses are robust and clustered at the thread level. The initial conditions listed here are solely determined by the topic and gender in the title of each thread, which posters can see before clicking on the thread. The full set of initial thread characteristics in the model also include the topic (Purely Professional, Personal, or Others) and gender (Female, Male, or Genderless) in the first post of each thread.

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