“Science” Confirms: I’m Female

And so is PZ Myers.

This “gendered brain” quiz is making the rounds again (I’ve taken it before), and I score somewhere in the neighborhood of average for women who’ve taken the survey.

Basically, though, it appears to be for crap. Echidne notes the bias in the questions designed to test how emotional you are:

Ready? The idea is to see how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements:

I really enjoy caring for other people.

I find it difficult to read and understand maps.

It is hard for me to see why some things upset people so much.

I find it easy to put myself in somebody else’s shoes.

I find it easy to grasp exactly how odds work in betting.

If anyone asked me if I liked their haircut, I would reply truthfully, even if I didn’t like it.

I find it difficult to learn how to programme video recorders.

I do not enjoy games that involve a high degree of strategy (e.g. chess, Risk, Games Workshop).

Other people tell me I am good at understanding how they are feeling and what they are thinking.

I can remember large amounts of information about a topic that interests me e.g. flags of the world, airline logos.

I am able to make decisions without being influenced by people’s feelings.

People sometimes tell me that I have gone too far with teasing.

I know very little about the different stages of the legislation process in my country.

I usually stay emotionally detached when watching a film.

I can easily visualise how the motorways in my region link up.

I can tell if someone is masking their true emotion.

Note anything funny? Notice how the emotional questions are left mostly vague but the systematizing questions have very specific examples, examples which all have to do with male roles in the society? For example, we are gently steered to think about odds in the sense of BETTING (still largely a male hobby). Then we are told to think about the ability to remember large amounts of information and the examples are FLAGS OF THE WORLD, AIRLINE LOGOS. Then there is stuff about MOTORWAYS. And references to very specific games of risk.

It would be fairly astonishing not to find the answers biased by sex even if systematizing was an equally likely characteristic of both sexes. Now think about how those questions could be changed to make the test less biased. Why not add examples which apply to hobbies women have? For example, in the statement about remembering large amounts of information, why not add an example to collections of Barbi dolls or 1930s jewelry or embroideries? And in the empathizing questions, why not give some specific examples that might apply not only to women’s traditional societal roles? Something about what a man might do when coaching children in sports, for example?

I was also annoyed to find that the tests don’t pay any attention to cultural aspects in general. For example, the little summaries one gets after completing a part of the test tell us what we should believe based on evolutionary psychology theories only.

Oh, one of those summaries? Repeats the claim that women use 15,000 words and men only use 7,000. Which has been shown to be crap, but keeps getting endlessly vomited up even by social researchers because it just sounds so right. You know, because women just can’t shut up. ‘Strue! Studies Have Shown. It’s truthy.

BTW, British readers: am I imagining things, or is the British press — in particular the Daily Mail, but also the BBC, and to a lesser extent, the Guardian — just obsessed with the gender essentialism lately?

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51 comments for ““Science” Confirms: I’m Female

  1. Holly
    December 28, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    I was most confused by the very last question on that test — how to split 50 pounds. I said I’d take 25 and offer 25 to the other person. Which apparently is a VERY bizzare answer?!?

  2. twf
    December 28, 2006 at 11:51 pm

    According to the test, I’m mostly male. Does that mean I’d be allowed to vote in Mary Grabar’s ideal world?

    Details: 19/20 on the angles (I’m in a technical field, it’s important I be able to do this), 50% on spot the difference (which apparently makes me “balanced male-female” but closer to female), right-brain dominant, empathy 13/20, systemizing 19/20 (again not surprising considering my field and education), eyes 4/10 (below average), fingers about the same length, I like masculine faces, 11/12 on the shape-rotation thingy, 25 words total on the synonym-thing, and I’m selfish on the money (more accurately: I’ve been educated in decision theory, in which this is a common example and the “rational” answer provided).

    This says nothing about the “gender” of the brain. What it does say is what I already knew about myself: I’m good at math and language and poor at reading emotions. This is closer to a math and verbal aptitude test than anything else. And it’s definitely education-influenced.

  3. December 28, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    I score as female, but below average. I find the results analysis interesting, though.

    Angles. The average score for men is 15.1 and for women is 13.3. However, the analysis says that if you score 13-17, you found the test neither easy nor hard and that your brain has both male and female traits when it comes to spatial ability. If you score 18-20, you have more of a male brain. On what basis? Who knows, as on average both men and women score as not having more of either “type” of brain.

    Spot the Difference. Same kind of weirdness. Average score for men is 39%. Average score for women is 46%. Those who score below 33% have more of a male brain. Those who score 34% – 66% have a balanced male-female brain. Those who score more than 67% have more of a female brain. Most people score as “balanced”.

    Hands. Lord knows, as they don’t actually assign male or female to either. However, they indicate that right thumb on top = left brain dominant = more verbal and analytical. Left thumb on top = right brain dominant = visual, spatial, and intuitive. I’m not sure what this is in aid of, as verbal in our cultural bias usually equals female, but analytical usually equals male. Visual and spatial usually equal male, while intuitive usually equals female. I’m not saying I buy into that, just what our cultural bias usually is. As such, either indicates having both assumed female and male traits.

    Empathizing. Average man is 7.9 out of 20. Average woman is 10.6 out of 20. (FYI, for those who have had comment spats with me, I score as less empathizing than the average man with a 7 out of 20.)

    Systemizing. Average man is 12.5 out of 20. Average woman is 8 out of 20. (As per above, I score as more systemizing than the average man with a 16 out of 20. So anyone expecting me to be all concerned about other people’s feelings is going to be seriously disappointed. Deal. Every psychological test I have ever taken indicates I am more of a thinker than a feeler.)

    Eyes. Men and women both average 6.6 out of 10, indicating they have female brains according to whatever methodology they use to decide that.

    Fingers. Men have a ratio of .982. Women have a ratio of .991. Not a huge difference.

    Faces. Presumably they assume that people who prefer masculine faces are female and vice versa. This isn’t explicitly stated. I can’t imagine what else it would prove, though.

    3D. Men score on average 8.2 out of 12. Women score on average 7.1 out of 12. On average, both score as balanced (between 7 and 9).

    Words. Average for men is 11.4 associated words. For women it’s 12.4. This is above the highest range which is typically associated as female.

    So, clearly, on average, men and women are not that damn different (which we already all knew), which makes you wonder about these classifications. They explain very little about the majority of the population.

    Now this says nothing about what happens at the tail ends of the curve (assuming these are normally distributed), but that has very little to do with every day life. The tail ends of the curve equal only 2.3% of the population each. For this to explain significant differences in career choices, we’d have to assume that the majority of those going into “gendered” careers fall into the tails of the normal curve. I imagine this is at best a specious assumption, and certainly one that cannot reasonably be stated as an explanation without actual validation.

  4. Ledasmom
    December 28, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    I forget my scores, except I got twenty out of twenty on the angle thingy. Ha! Just try to score higher than that, stereotypical guys!
    Oh, and I suck at empathy, but I knew that.

  5. jt
    December 29, 2006 at 12:43 am

    I scored sky-high on both empathy and systemizing, and got a zero overall. Apparently, I am a hermaphrodite. Although one with very high prenatal testosterone, according to the digit ratio test.

    *checks pants fearfully*

  6. jt
    December 29, 2006 at 12:52 am

    This is closer to a math and verbal aptitude test than anything else. And it’s definitely education-influenced.

    Much of it is questionable that way, yes. For example, I’m quite certain that, given some practice, anyone could score pretty high on the rotated-blocks test; it’s a skill that could be learned, and some people already may have learned it as a side effect of past experience. If anyone used that particular test in a study on gender differences, I’d definitely scoff at it.

  7. mythago
    December 29, 2006 at 1:00 am

    It sounds to me like an autism test more than anything.And really, “Games Workshop” is like chess? WTF?

  8. Maureen
    December 29, 2006 at 1:09 am

    Well, it’s primarily designed as a preliminary autism test–Simon Baron-Cohen’s thesis is that autism represents an ultra-extreme “male” or systematizing brain; hence it’s far more frequently found in males than in females. I think he may be unconsciously skewing the test to support his thesis.

    As for me: According to Borat’s cousin, I’m totally a dude.

  9. Maureen
    December 29, 2006 at 1:11 am

    Well, I scored as “highly systematic” on an earlier Guardian version of the test; I haven’t tried this version yet.

  10. Anonymous
    December 29, 2006 at 1:13 am

    With over half a bottle of wine in me, I (a female) scored the same as the average male. I presume that my ability on the various spatal reasoning tests was a bit impaired. Perhaps the same is true of reading emotions? I will be interested to see whether sobriety makes me more or less “masculine.” I’ll let y’all know tomorrow – if I remember.

  11. Clare
    December 29, 2006 at 2:18 am

    I’d say that the results are heavily, heavily influenced by learning and experience… case in point… the “rotate the object” in space task was made easier for me by our having some “brainteaser” cards at home that present these kinds of puzzles to you over and over again. And so I did really well on that. Oh, and confidence is also helpful for these tasks. As for whether the British are more into this kind of crude evolutionary psych, male brain/female brain stuff than others, well judging from the kind of fare that ends up on British TVs, it seems that the answer is yes. A few years back, there was an execrable series called “Why Men Can’t Iron,” which rolled out all the usual crappy, sexist nonsense you can imagine (I didn’t see it, thankfully, just read about it at length on the accompanying website). As for why these ideas seem to be so much more appealing to — well, TV producers at least — in the UK, I can’t say, since I haven’t lived there for over 20 years. If now it’s anything like it was then, I’d put it down to a lingering conviction that people really ought to remain in their proper social place, and we all know what that means for women… But a more recent or current resident would have better ideas about this, I guess.

  12. Zerika
    December 29, 2006 at 4:08 am

    Did the test assume gender from sexual preference? At least I was never asked for my gender (female), but the results page showed average scores for men and women. I had a ‘male’ brain, of course – perfect score on 3D shapes, too.

    I did the test twice, to get both female and male faces. I found feminine female faces and masculine male faces more attractive. So does that tell anything about my ‘brain gender’? I don’t think so.

    Another thing I found funny was the Ultimatum, the money division question. Apparently it was supposed to test how big risks are you ready to take, but my choice had nothing to do with risks and everything to do with fairness. I split the money evenly.

    Silly test, all in all.

  13. Spatterdash
    December 29, 2006 at 7:00 am

    The British press loves the evo-psych stuff; I suppose it makes for good filler on a slow news day. They also adore articles about surveys, usually commissioned by companies in order to get some attention, for much the same reason.
    To its credit, the Guardian has been critical of this to some extent. There was a good article a while back where they debunked the idea that women talk more than men.

    Why it should be us and not, say, the Swiss who’ve jumped on this in a big way is anyone’s guess.

    As for the test, I’ve tried it several times and it keeps screwing up on my computer. I imagine, though, that I’d probably score somewhere in the middle.

  14. December 29, 2006 at 9:32 am

    So, clearly, on average, men and women are not that damn different (which we already all knew), which makes you wonder about these classifications. They explain very little about the majority of the population.

    I stopped caring when I noticed the “words” thing–that both men and women averaged off-the-charts female. (I beat both averages, which I guess makes me double-plus female times a million). Basically, it looked like every bit of junk science I’ve ever seen thrown together in a mishmash. It was 100% pointless.

  15. Bryna
    December 29, 2006 at 9:56 am

    # Holly Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    I was most confused by the very last question on that test — how to split 50 pounds. I said I’d take 25 and offer 25 to the other person. Which apparently is a VERY bizzare answer?!?

    Weirdly, they said in their little blurb ‘women tend to offer X amount, men tend to offer X amount’ but then they said the actual average offer for people taking this test was…25 pounds. Like you did. And I did. I was really irritated about their scoring system, because they’d say shit like ‘scoring 1-3 is more female…4-6 is fairly even…7-10 is very male’ but then you’d look at the actual averages for test-takers and it would be like ‘males: 5.6, females: 4.2’. Well that’s awfully conclusive.

    I know that they probably get more accurate test results in their lab environments so thats where they must be getting this from, but clearly with a large sample size they aren’t really seeing the results they get in the lab. But we all knew people who are into Evo Psych tend to find the data that supports their ‘how it should be’ theories.

  16. Linnaeus
    December 29, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Overall, I came out as female. Funny thing is, these results showed some similiarities to my ADD testing. So I guess the psychologist was wrong; I don’t have ADD, I’m just female, but look male. Amazing!

  17. December 29, 2006 at 10:12 am

    I stopped caring when I noticed the “words” thing–that both men and women averaged off-the-charts female. (I beat both averages, which I guess makes me double-plus female times a million).

    LOL. Actually, I scored below both averages by a lot (only 6 words), so I guess I’m the strong, silent, masculine type. The thing is, I am actually not particularly talkative or verbally-oriented (although I’m very good at foreign languages). I am much more analytical. It’s just ludicrous that, therefore, that makes me more masculine. It just makes me a person who happens to approach nearly everything in a highly analytical fashion (which has its good and bad points).

    Basically, it looked like every bit of junk science I’ve ever seen thrown together in a mishmash. It was 100% pointless.

    In fairness to Dr, Baron-Cohen (but not the Guardian), according to several commenters here this is actually a test for autism. In which case, he is dealing with the results around the tails of the curve. So it may well be predictive in terms of traits that are associated with autism. I still question the male vs. female classification, because that does seem a pointless classification if it can’t be applied to the majority of the population. It would seem that he should be classifying around autistic vs. non-autistic, so that at one tail of the curve, you’d classify as highly autistic and at the other tail, you’d classify as highly non-autistic, or something like that.

    As for the Guardian, no, they’re just idiots. You can’t take a test like that and apply it to the majority of the population. What they’ve managed to prove is that most people aren’t autistic. Unfortunately they’ve presented it in such a way as to prop up gender essentialism, even though the results they publish clearly indicate that’s bunk.

  18. December 29, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Okay, I took the stupid test and I’m exactly in the middle. So I apparently have no gender. I also scored a perfect 20/20 for systemizing but also above average for both men and women in empathy. I also thought the eye test was hilarious, because I recognized most of the celebrities who were pictured. But I did well in that test because I got 14 out of 20 “correct.” But this begs the question–who exactly judged what Kate Winslet and Keanu Reeves were thinking in those promotional images?

  19. December 29, 2006 at 11:51 am

    I scored 0, right in the middle, which I guess means brain androgyny . . . ?

    The most confusing parts of the quiz for me were they eyes (I just guessed, most of the time I thought it was something completely different than the four choices I was given) and the faces (picking which was more attractive) – which I thought were all ugly.

  20. Lorelei
    December 29, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    It won’t load for me after the Words test. It just turns blank. Why?

  21. Roy
    December 29, 2006 at 12:22 pm

    I’m a sucker for these kinds of tests, though. Even though I inevitably find them infuriating. I can’t really add any criticism that hasn’t already been raised-

    Let’s see- Part 1: I’m apparently strongly “male” here- 19/20 Angles, and 21% for the Spot the Difference. Slightly surprising, because I’m usually good at noticing differences.

    Part 2: I fail to see how this relates to anything. Anyway, my right thumb is on top. I figured this was because I’m right handed. I’d actually put myself as much more of a visual/spatial thinker than analytical, but I’m pretty strong on both (I think).

    Part 3: I scored higher than either average on Empathising, at 12/20. I scored in the middle for Systemising at 11/20. Which came as absolutely no shock to me.
    I guess this puts me as more “female” than “male” here, though?

    The Eyes one I found interesting- the averages for men and women are exactly the same right now. I scored 6/10, just below average, apparently. So, I’m sort of neither “male” nor “female” for this one?

    Part 4: Oddly enough, the average ratio for both hands is above 1.00, which is well above either men or women. Weird. I guess we’ll count this as “female” since I’m closer to that result.

    Part 5: In a result that shocked absolutely nobody, I prefer feminine faces. I don’t see how this makes me more “male” or “female,” though.

    Part 6: 12/12 for the 3D shapes. No surprise there- I’ve been scoring well on shape manipulation tests since I was in grade school.
    With regards to the word one- lame.
    Anyway- am I supposed to do the sum for the first word and the second word? If so, I had 22 words total, otherwise it was 15 for “Grey” and 7 for “happy.”

    For the Ultimatum, my answer had nothing to do with risk taking, and everything to do with my sense of “fairness.” I’m well aware of the game theory answer, that you can offer the other person very little money in order to take more of it for yourself, but my sense of fairness dictates that I offer the other person half.

    That puts me, again, sort of half and half.

    Over-all, I have a pretty even distribution of “male” and “female” traits, by this test. Yet, it puts me pretty solidly as “male.”
    How does that work?

    Blitzgal: The logician/pedant in me wants to argue the use of “begs the question,” but the realist in me knows it’s a losing battle. ;)

  22. December 29, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    Roy: The creators of the test are expecting us to take for granted that they know the “correct” emotion being portrayed in the images, and that’s all I meant. I’ll strike “begs the question” from my vernacular if it irritates you to such a degree that you have to parse it out of my full response.

  23. Roy
    December 29, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    Blitzgal: I should apologize. I understand and agree with your point- especially in the cases where some of the emotions listed are very similar.
    I didn’t mean to give the impression that I was being anything but friendly- but I should have considered that, really, none of you have any idea what my background is, and probably don’t have the same reaction to “begs the question” that I do.
    For a pretty innocent and widely used expression, it can generate a lot of argument in a logic class.

  24. December 29, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    Anyway- am I supposed to do the sum for the first word and the second word? If so, I had 22 words total, otherwise it was 15 for “Grey” and 7 for “happy.”

    I think you take the average of the two, so you’re at 11, which puts you pretty on par with the average male, although above what the test determines as female.

    Over-all, I have a pretty even distribution of “male” and “female” traits, by this test. Yet, it puts me pretty solidly as “male.”
    How does that work?

    You would have to conclude that certain parts are weighted more heavily than others, although there is no indication of which.

  25. KnifeGhost
    December 29, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    Roy, I’m with you, but I’ve given it up. I understand that language changes and so on, but when expressions with specific useful meanings get misused, we lose the ability to say certain things concisely and precisely. But, like I say, I think “beg the question” is a lost cause.

    Anyways, I scored 50% male overall, but I aced all the typically “female” tests except “spot the difference”. *shrug* I think the only reason I didn’t come out more female is that my mind is strongly analytical.

    And on the face test. No option for “I like ’em both?” Par for the course, but fuck it anyways.

  26. December 29, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    But, like I say, I think “beg the question” is a lost cause.

    It is. Fortunately “circular reasoning” is still pretty concise.

  27. dream_operator23
    December 29, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    I scored in between the 0 and the fifty on the female side.

    What does finger length have to do with the way the brain works?

    And why didn’t they have an option of viewing both male and female faces for the person who finds both sexually attractive?


  28. Bolo
    December 29, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    My background is young, male, engineer:

    20/20 angles
    43% on spot the difference (directly between male/female avgs)

    Right Thumb

    9/20 for empathy, so I’m just a little toward the male average
    18/20 for systemising… remember, engineer
    6/10 eyes. A little below average.

    Had to print out a ruler, so results were probably inaccurate. Right hand was 1.0, left was 0.96.

    Prefer feminine (correct)

    12/12 3D shapes.
    12 associated words and 9 synonyms, total of 21. Why does the word range only go up to 10 though? 6-10 = “female brain” So… what happens when you get 21?

    Split 50/50. Duh. Why the hell would I demand 65%+?

    Final Score:
    50 male, dead center average.

    Oh, and I loved the 15,000 and 7,000 word. I just don’t get how scoring one way or another means you have a more “male” or “female” brain. If variation is so high around the mean, aren’t there better words to describe this? Like creative, analytical, spacial, etc.? Why does it always come down to this single, binary opposition based on gender?

  29. Galatea
    December 29, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Heh. Young, female, studying to be an engineer — I got nearly the same answers as Bolo (except I’m a little less empathetic, I saw almost no differences, and I like masculine faces).

    I find it somewhat hard to believe, though, that anyone would seriously put value to a test like this. It’s just reinforcing the whole “women are verbal, not mathematical” thing again and the numbers are so close together as to be meaningless.

    And dear God, does anyone in real life ever not split the money 50-50? That last question is off-the-charts bizarre.

  30. Ledasmom
    December 29, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Well, the point of the money-splitting thing as I understand it is not to mimic the real-life situation of two people having come into unexpected money, but to see how a person acts in an artificial situation where there’s an unequal distribution of power. It’s a pretty common basic example in game-theory, isn’t it?

  31. jt
    December 29, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    And dear God, does anyone in real life ever not split the money 50-50? That last question is off-the-charts bizarre.

    A lot of people wouldn’t, actually. After all, they’d say, this person is getting money for nothing! Why should they complain if I take an extra five for myself? The trick, of course, is not taking so much that the other person sees you as a horribly selfish bastard, and winds up finding more satisfaction in rejecting the cash and leaving you with nothing.

  32. Holly
    December 29, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    I think maybe it was how that question was presented on the website. It made it sound like you and this other person found this money together, but then for some (hypothetical) reason you are given the power to split the cash, and the other person gets the power to veto the whole thing and make it so you both get nothing. At least that’s how it read to me. To me it’s a double-bind — the person with the veto power ought to use that power to argue for an equitable split, even though it’s a threat of annihilation. And really, I was kind of wondering “where the hell do these rules come from anyway.” So I felt like it’s sort of natural to say well, we should split it evenly and not have an argument then. And that seems the most ethical too. I’m confused by how so many people would just admit to abusing power or trying to convince someone they should take less, when it’s so obvious. You’d think people would at least pretend to have a socially acceptable level of morality and fair play.

    The site says most people answered 50-50, but that “in general” people take more for themselves. That second result must come from a more clinical study, whether it’s psychology or or sociology or economics or whatever… where I bet the explanation and setup was very different, and might have involved real cash. Probably the real answer for a lot of the discrepancies on that site is that the online version of these tests is kind of shoddy and not administered well (or at all).

  33. Amy
    December 29, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    And count me in as yet another person who is a O! I did excellent on the angles and pretty bad at “spot the difference”, but I think that is because I spent the 60 seconds trying to think of the best way to memorize the objects! I got 4 out of 10 for eyes, and sucked at 3D shapes, but did very well on words. That (and the horrible 3D score) and my fingers is my only concession to the BBC’s sense of the female brain.
    The words question was really bad, because it punishes you for accuracy. I mean, how many words mean exactly “happy”? If you branch off (and maybe they do mean that as a feminine thing) you get rewarded.
    And of course, the first word for “gray” that came to mind was “cat”. Anyone else in that boat?

  34. Galatea
    December 29, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    “It made it sound like you and this other person found this money together”

    Exactly. If you found it together, then yeah, splitting it fairly would make the most sense.

    As for game theory, it assumes that the players are playing rationally in order to maximise their total payoff. A rational play would be for you to take most and for the other person to accept, no matter what, since some money is a better payoff than no money. In real life s/he could decide that getting nothing is better than getting something so unequally distributed.

  35. dream_operator23
    December 29, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    I thought of “cat” first too, Amy!

    I did the best on the eyes and emotions part. I got nine out of ten correct, but I think that has less to do with the fact that I am female and more to do with the fact that I am illustrator (not professionally though) and have spent a lot of time learning how to convey emotion through eyes.


  36. Roy
    December 29, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    I actually thought of “ghost” first, for “grey.” It was a lot easier to come up with words related to “grey” than “happy.” I ended up using words like “Excited,” which doesn’t mean exactly happy, but can be related.

    I definitely noticed how close the average results for men and women were.

    As for the Ultimatum Game: That’s a rational play if your sole pursuit is immediate pay-off. If you’re looking at the potential for repetition, though, it’s rational to punish offers that are particularly uneven. For example: I say I’m taking $49.99 of the $50, leaving you with a penny, and you take the offer. If the situation comes up a second time, what incentive is there for me to offer you anything but a penny? Granted, you’re ahead two pennies, but if you reject the first offer, I know that I need to make a more equitable offer the second time around, or lose everything. The less you offer the second person, the less that person has to lose by rejecting the offer, as well. A penny is nothing- I’d have no problem taking the loss of a penny to punish the greedy jerk who wants to take $49.99.

  37. December 29, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    I guess I’m actually a man. And I scored 20/20 on the angle thingy and 12/12 on the blocks. And, yeah, I’m not exactly an engineer. Hmmmm…. perhaps THIS is the root of all my problems. (BTW — I am actually a woman)

  38. December 29, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    I’m female but I scored basically a 25 towards the male end (halfway between O and 50) so I must have a ‘male’ brain.

    The test was amusing to try – it’s interesting to just see what skills you are better at then others – although some of them aren’t even skills – e.g. emotions are relative – that is why some people see certain actors as great whilst others see them as not so great because we have different interpretations of what emotions represent in the physical form.

  39. Lorelei
    December 29, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    You are able to make decisions without concern for other people’s emotions.

    I like how this one determines whether you’re male or female brained. I thought it just determined whether or not you were an asshole.

  40. December 29, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    I’m still a man. I always test male on these pointless tests.

  41. Rachel
    December 29, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    I got a 0. So I’m both, or neither. An asexual hermaphrodite?

  42. kate
    December 29, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    I took the test the first time and scored perfect on the spatial cube test and sucked on the first test — the angles, which surprises and disturbs me as I work in the building trades, dealing with angles and spatial relationships all day long. I should do better with identifying angles.

    The first time it told I scored a 50 on the male end. The second time I scored a twenty on the female end of the scale. I took this test a while ago though some other site and scored right in the middle.

    The test is definitely conditional on learning, exposure to different aspects of thinking, mood at the time of taking the test and of course, ability at all to sit through such a test and participate in it whole heartedly.

    In others, it measures a lot of things, none of which have to do with one’s gender orientation.

  43. zuzu
    December 29, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Oh, can I just say? I noted this the first time but forgot it by the time I wrote the post:

    The angles test is supposed to measure how much attention you pay to spatial relationships, which is a “male” trait.

    The test where you have to guess which objects have been moved is supposed to measure how much attention you pay to your environment, which is supposed to be a “female” trait.

    So, tell me: what’s the difference between noticing spatial relationships and noticing where objects are in relationship to each other?

  44. Galatea
    December 29, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    So, tell me: what’s the difference between noticing spatial relationships and noticing where objects are in relationship to each other?

    Because one has to do with blocks and building and the other has to do with ironing boards and teddy bears, duh.

  45. Lorelei
    December 30, 2006 at 12:38 am

    FWIW, zuzu, I had a whole battery of psych tests like this not too long ago — thing is, it was to determine whether or not I had a learning disorder, not if I was male or female brained, but there ya go ;D — and if I recall correctly, which I probably don’t, there is actually a difference between those two, because I sucked at the spatial reasoning thing in the neuropsych test (flipping things, figuring out how far away things are from each other, etc) but was excellent at ‘photographic memory’ (remembering how things were organized in the first picture as opposed to the second, what’s missing, what’s new, stuff like that… mind you, they didn’t officially call it photographic memory but whatever). From what I remember, those were two specifically different skills. But I’m just the person who took the test, not the one who made it or even analyzes the results. :)

    Funnily enough, my results on this thing were reversed, but I’ll trust my results from a neuropsychiatrist more than BBC Online. :P

  46. anacas
    December 30, 2006 at 1:55 am

    The graphed results only reflect how you did on the angles, object location, shape rotation, and word list puzzles–which at least solves the question of how on earth they were factoring in things like the ultimatum in the algorithm.

    So basically my results (smack dab at zero) show that I’m good at puzzles. Sounds like a fun way to come out to my mom, though… “Mommy, junk science says I’m genderqueer so it must be true!”

  47. MaggieCat
    December 30, 2006 at 8:29 am

    “And of course, the first word for “gray” that came to mind was “cat”. Anyone else in that boat?”

    “Dove” was the first word that came to me, but “cat” was a close second.

    Well this annoyed me straight off- I scored 8/20 on the angles test, but that’s because I’m on a laptop and it’s rather hard to be that exact with a mousepad on a timed exercise. I’m also apparently a cold hearted type, with 6/20 on empathy. Which could cause some problems since my Words score implies that I never, ever shut up.

    But my favorite had to be the 3-D shapes test, 11/12:

    If you scored 10 – 12: Are you an engineer or do you have a science background? People with these skills tend to score in this range. Past studies have concluded that people in this range have a more male brain.

    And I had over 70% on the spot-the-difference test. But somehow I failed geometry in high school. Twice!

  48. exangelena
    December 30, 2006 at 11:38 am

    I’m female, and I got the 50 male (average for men) score.
    17/20 on angles (I’m a science major undergrad and just finished a course with stereochemistry)
    21% on spot the difference (I honestly find this very bewildering)
    Right-thumb on top (I dunno, I kind of think my right hand is dominant because I’m … right handed)
    6/20 on empathy (I think this is because I’d rate myself slightly able or unable, I’m more modest than overconfident)
    6/20 on systemizing (not surprising, I don’t have an engineer mind)
    8/20 on eyes (does the fact that I’m obsessed with eyes and eye makeup have anything to do with this?)
    0.94/0.97 on fingers (I am a high testosterone woman so maybe this has something to do with it)
    I prefer masculine faces
    10/12 on 3D shapes (stereochemistry)
    14 and 7 words
    25 pounds
    I don’t know about how accurate this test is, because I am pretty good at math and chemistry, although I do have high levels of testosterone for a woman.

  49. Bolo
    December 30, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    “And of course, the first word for “gray” that came to mind was “cat”. Anyone else in that boat?”

    I started mine out with clouds, sky, ocean, and so on. And I wanted double points for typing Dorian :).

    My fiance is a psych major and has explained to me that apparently the parallel lines/angles test demonstrates a tendency–based on our neural wiring–for us to see some lines as being flatter than others (perhaps the lower of the two parallel lines?). So, some people would consistently choose lines that are at a lesser angle. It has nothing to do with gender though. Everyone tends to have this problem to some degree.

  50. C-Bird
    December 31, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    My results prompted me to call my folks and make sure they didn’t change my sex from male to female as a child somehow because I scored over the average for a male… My conclusion is that this test is utter bullshit…

  51. C-Bird
    December 31, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    And apparently my behemoth of a boyfriend is a little bit female. Bleck.

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