There is an interesting discussion on the economics of gender in online games over at Story Geek, another new blog to my blogroll. Since I am not a gamer I was not aware of the difference between Second Life and MMORPGs. Apparently in most other virtual universe systems you cannot switch your gender easily. In contrast, Second Life is very flexible.
This leads has led to an underground economic system for sale of avatars on e-bay for example, something that does not exist for Second Life. But in Second Life female clothing is much more varied and expensive than male clothing. Of course doesn't this parallel clothing in real life?
One nice thing about Second Life is that I can find female shoes that fit!