I’m not sure if this really belongs in a time-sink category, but for whatever reason I took the challenge to see if my brain was feminine or masculine. The result? Well…
Okay, let’s walk through the results.
1. The Angle Test: 13 out of 20.
If you scored 13 – 17: You found this test neither hard nor easy. This suggests your brain has male and female traits when it comes to spatial ability.
Comment: I’ve always had a problem with tasks related to geometry and shapes. Tell me to turn left, and I will actually have to think for some seconds about the direction. I also regularly walk into door-frames and furniture.
2. Spot the difference (Objects moving place): 21%
If you scored between 0 – 33%: You may have more of a male brain. Scientists say men tend to under perform in this task. The corpus callosum, the part of the brain that links the right and left hemispheres, is a fifth larger in women. This means women can process visual and other signals at the same time more easily than men. There is also a theory that oestrogen levels in women give them an added advantage in spatial memory.
Comment: The good news is that this means that my short-time memory isn’t zapped.
3. Thumbs up: Left
Left thumb on top: This suggests the right half of your brain is dominant. Some studies theorise that as a right brain dominant person, you may excel in visual, spatial and intuitive processes.
However, these theories are debatable and leave much to be said about the small percentage of people who are ambidextrous.
Comment: FWIW, I’m extremely left-handed. The result doesn’t fit with #1 and #8
4. Empathising and systematising: Your empathy score is: 7 out of 20; Your systematising score is: 11 out of 20.
(Empathy:) Average score for men: 7.9 out of 20. Average score for women: 10.6 out of 20
(Systematising:) Average score for men: 12.5 out of 20. Average score for women: 8.0 out of 20
Comment: Hmmm… A professional researcher ought to do better in the systematising business.
5. Ability to judge people’s emotions: 7 out of 10.
If you scored 7 – 10: Your result suggests you are a good empathiser, sensitive to other people’s emotions. Women generally fall into this category.
Comment: This doesn’t fit with with #4 although there might be such a thing as defensive empathy. If you know what I mean.
6. Fingers: Right Hand: 1.06, Left Hand: 1.02.
Average ratio for men: 0.982. Average ratio for women: 0.991.
It’s thought that your ratio is governed by the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in your mother’s womb. The ratio of the length of your index finger to the length of your ring finger is set for life by as early as three months after conception. Even during puberty, when we experience intensive hormonal changes, the ratio stays the same.
Men generally have a ring finger that is longer than their index finger, which gives them a lower ratio than women, whose ring and index fingers are usually of equal length.
Comment: I must have some spooky hands. I never noticed that my left and right hands were so different.
7. Faces: Your choices suggest you prefer more feminine faces.
Comment: I’m, like, totally surprised. But this one is fairly easy to bust.
8. 3D shapes: Your score: 7 out of 12.
Average score for men: 8.2 out of 12. Average score for women: 7.1 out of 12.
If you scored 0 – 6: Do you find yourself having to physically rotate a map to point in the direction in which you’re travelling? This might explain why you scored in the lower range in the 3D shapes test. Twice as many women as men score in this category. Previous studies suggest that those with a female-type brain or with an arts background fall into this range.
Comment: See under #1.
9. Word association: You associated 7 word(s) with grey and you named 8 word(s) that mean happy. [Total: 15] We are assuming that all the words you entered are correct.
Average score for men: 11.4 words total. Average score for women: 12.4 words total.
If you produced 6 – 10 words: Most people in this range have a female-type brain.
Women are said to use both sides of the brain when doing verbal tasks while men mainly use their left side. Studies have shown that girls develop vocabulary faster than boys. This difference in brain power is caused by levels of pre-natal testosterone
Comment: Biology or work-related injury? I’ve basically spent my life since I was 6 in very verbal environments and I’ve always been a very good writer.
10. Ultimatum: If you had to split £50 with someone, you said you would demand £25.
So far on the Sex ID test, men have demanded 51.6% (£25.80) of the pot and women have demanded 51.0% (£25.50), on average.
What does your response suggest?
Sex differences are small in this task. Demanding less than 60% of the pot (ie £30) is more typically female. Demanding more than 65% of the pot (ie £32.50) is more typically male.
Scientists believe that people with lower testosterone levels tend to take fewer risks so they are probably more willing to keep less for themselves. Those with higher testosterone levels tend to drive a harder bargain and are less compromising.
Comment: Obviously, there is a reason why I never entered politics. I’m not quite convinced by the description of the results of previous tests and “typically” male and female behaviours. But maybe I should have my testosterone level checked at some point just for the fun of it.
HT: Eszter Hargittai.
Update: Language Log (!) on brains and popular science reporting.