Monday, July 31, 2006

It's Not Brain Surgery ...

Thanks to my blogger pal Steff, this morning I learned that the BBC has created a Sex I.D. brain test that will reveal if you have more of a male brain or more of a female brain, through the use of nifty online challenges. There are six parts to it, none of which take very long, but you can save your test at the completion of each stage and return to it later, you know, if your boss is coming around the corner and might see you slacking off.

I've always thought of myself as rather equally right- and left-brained. If I had to guess about where I would fall on the male/female brain continuum, I would have given the edge to "female," both because, well, I have a nice rack, and because, as many of you know, I will cry at a well-made commercial for soup. But now, thanks to the blokes at the BBC, I know: I skew male. Picture a continuum with 100 percent female on the left side and 100 percent male on the right, 0 in the center (duh). My personal brain score sits right around 25 percent on the male side. The average for men who take the test is 50 percent male. The average for women who take the test is 50 percent female. Because we all have some degree of both traits, eh?

The test is broken down into six sections. My results, copied from my BBC results page, are thus:

Part 1

Angles - This task tested your ability to identify the angle of a line by matching it with its twin. This is a spatial task, which looks at how you picture space.

Your score: 17 out of 20.
Average score for men: 15.1 out of 20.
Average score for women: 13.3 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.

Spot the Difference (not to be confused with "Spot the Looney" - that was for you, Trac!) - This task tested your ability to identify which objects changed position. You lost points, if you incorrectly identified objects.
Your score: 64%.
Average score for men: 39%.
Average score for women: 46%.
If you scored between 34 - 66%: You may have a balanced female-male brain.

Part 2

You said your left thumb was on top when you clasped your hands together. 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.

Part 3

Emotions and Systems

This task looked at whether you prefer to empathise or systemise.

Your empathy score is: 16 out of 20
Average score for men: 7.9 out of 20
Average score for women: 10.6 out of 20

What does your result suggest?
Empathisers are better at accurately judging other people's emotions and responding appropriately. If you scored 15 and above, you are very empathic and would be an ideal person to comfort people in a time of crisis. Women in general are better at empathising.

Your systemising score is: 14 out of 20
Average score for men: 12.5 out of 20
Average score for women: 8.0 out of 20

What does your result suggest?
Systemisers prefer to investigate how systems work. A system can be a road map, flat pack furniture, or a mathematical equation – anything that follows a set of rules. A score of 15 and above suggests you're good at analysing or building systems. Men in general are better at systemising.

This task tested your ability to judge people's emotions.

Your score: 8 out of 10
Average score for men: 6.6 out of 10
Average score for women: 6.6 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.

Part 4


We asked you to measure your ring and index fingers. Your ratios came to:

Right Hand: 1.04
Left Hand: 1.03

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.

Studies have found that men and women with lots of brothers generally have more masculine finger ratios.

Part 5


This task looked at how you rate the attractiveness of a series of faces. The images you looked at were digitally altered to create slight differences in masculinity.

Your choices suggest you prefer more feminine faces.

Highly masculinised male faces possess more extreme testosterone markers such as a long, broad and lower jaw, as well as more pronounced brow ridges and cheekbones.

Interestingly, women's preferences are said to vary across the menstrual phase. A more masculine face is preferred during the 9 days prior to ovulation, when conception is most likely.

A typical 'attractive' female face possesses features such as a shorter, narrower, lower jaw, fuller lips and larger eyes than an average face.

Part 6

3D Shapes

This task tested your ability to mentally rotate 3D shapes.

Your score: 11 out of 12
Average score for men: 8.2 out of 12
Average score for women: 7.1 out of 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.


This task looked at your verbal fluency.

Your score: you associated 6 word(s) with grey and you named 7 word(s) that mean happy. 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. (So my 13 words clearly mean I am a genius! : o ) )


This task asked you how you would divide money.

If you had to split £50 with someone, you said you would demand £10. (I misread the £50. I thought it was 20. So I wasn't being meek, just fair. But it didn't affect my overall result.)


Anonymous Ethan said...

This test was annoying at times. For instance, my ruler ONLY measures inches, so the "measure your fingers" part was dubious at best. For "words" I scored 12/12 (for 2 words). Funny.

After all of that, I have a 25% male brain. Insert joke here.

The "who do you prefer" exercise sucked big time. I thought you were supposed to rate one face over the other, which were so marginally different the results of my test can go right in the crapper. Sigh.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yeah, those Brits and their stupid metric, eh? But I used a site ( ) to convert inches to mms.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

I just don't know about all that. WTH is that blathering about cultural / country differences in the "ultimatum" task? And after telling us the difference between men's and women's responses is miniscule - 51.6% vs 51.0% - BBC proceeds to contradict themselves. Sheesh. I'm just pissed it says I'm a big fat ZERO. I demand a recount. Good luck on your photo shoot - please send excess and/or imperfect cookies.

8:02 AM  

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