It's funny to read about how social experiences can differ if you compare the real world to the virtual world (although that's a distinction I do not really like). Enjoy Joi Ito's 'case' over here and don't forget to read the comments as well.
"Try a female character and you might notice the difference just as interesting. People abuse this difference though. At one point, I found myself being the only male character among a hundred female newbies. Another interesting thing is that, if you are observant enough, you can tell the sex and approximate age of the person behind a character. Lots of areas to do some real *cough* research in."