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?
Because that wouldn't prove that women are the nurturers and men are the leaders? Anyway, my results:
Part 1a: Making spatial judgments
You correctly matched 19 line(s) out of 20.
On average, men generally outperform women at this task, although it is important to note that many women score extremely well.
The first time I took this test I was at my parents', that is, on another computer, and of course the BBC didn't recognize a cookie for this machine, so I am actually re-taking it. But!--I have had a few drinks, for one, and the spatio-visual judgment ability is supposed to be the first to go when you imbibe; either that, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been lying to me all these years.
For two, the first time I took this I scored 14 out of 20, stone cold sober. So there are two differences here: The difference in my mental state, and the difference in my attitude. That last one's key.
The first time I took the test I was anxious about this part, because this is something every woman who hangs around male engineers for even five minutes hears: Women suck at judging space. Guys say this the way you'd say "all fats and oils contain 100 calories per 1-tablespoon serving." Not that you'd really say that, because what are you, Ladies Home Journal? Is that you, Marie Claire?
So the first time I took this part of the test, it was with an attitude of dread and a complete lack of confidence (how can I possibly score well at this?--I have a vagina!). And, like I said: 14 out of 20. Still higher than the average they give for females, but not by much. I was over-thinking it, peering at the page, paying too much attention to the timer (you have 10 seconds to match each angle).
This time, I decided to just go with what looked right, because I've got a buzz on and hey fuck it. This time, I did not glance at the timer once. I went with my first impression and ignored the part of my brain that wanted to measure the exact angles of each line.
Hey, ho, what do you know: Being halfway confident--that is, not consumed with fear of failure and incompetence--about your ability to do a thing helps you to do it better. See also, the self-help section of every bookstore in these United States. People, especially me, make fun of those books, but it should say something that there's that much money to be made in just telling people, "Hey, maybe you DON'T actually suck. Maybe you're even okay."
Part 1b: Spot the Difference
Oh man, this test is my childhood. Let me try to explain it without cutting myself out of the will:
One of my very close relatives can tell if you have moved an object within millimeters. Relation to other objects, angle of the moved object, distance from the edge of the surface it's sitting on--this relative can take one glance and spot it all. One of my very close relatives also used to assign me the task of dusting. In the task of dusting, it was very important that all objects removed to dust the surface underneath be replaced in their exact positions, within millimeters.
Look, I know that sounds bad. But everyone has a thing and this was that relative's thing. So I learned to study positions really closely and really carefully, but, here's my thing--this never came naturally. It is a lot of work for me. At the risk of giving away something about this test, this is typically considered a female trait, but it is a female trait at which I have traditionally sucked.
All a long way of saying I'm going to bomb this--I certainly did last time. Well, let's see:
The spot the difference task tested your ability to recall objects' positions.
You correctly identified 12 out of 14.
You incorrectly identified 0 objects.
Did you know that women tend to outperform men on this task? Some scientists think that women's oestrogen levels make them much better at noticing details of their environment and spotting changes.
Yes, it is certainly the estrogen, and not the fact that we're trained from early on to pay attention to this shit.
I admit I am kind of pleased about that 12/14, but the first time I took this I got 8/14, or just over half. And they haven't varied this test at all, so part of the reason I got 12/14 this time was because the layout didn't change, and I remembered some of it. Take the test often enough, and you could score 14/14.
Bleah. In my version of heaven, you can set any object down on any surface that you like, and whether it's in position or facing a certain way doesn't matter, and there is no dust ever at all, amen.
Part 2: The stupid thumb thing
You said your left thumb is on top. This suggests the right side of your brain is dominant.
The left side of your brain is said to be more adept at language, logic and linear thinking.
The right side of your brain is said to control your visual, spatial and intuitive processes.
I guess I should be drawing you shit instead of writing you shit, then, because my thumb says I'm so good at the drawing. Whatever and NEXT.
And now we have the part Echidne was picking on: Do you empathize or do you systematize? Guess which pays better, and heaven forbid you do both! Not much variance in the scores on this one from the first time I took it until now:
We asked the questions you just answered to find out if you are more of an empathiser or a systemiser.
Your empathising score is 12 out of 20. This is an indication of your ability to read and respond to others' emotions.
Your systemising score is 17 out of 20. This indicates how much you enjoy exploring the intricacies of systems, for example playing strategy games and putting together flat pack furniture.
Originally that was 13/20 empathizing, 16/20 systematizing. Weird! I guess I'm a mean drunk who doesn't bond with people for shit.
And I don't know what "flat-pack furniture" is, either, but I feel safe assuming it is something the Europeans came up with to make themselves feel better about living in drafty 400-year-old houses.
Although, I am typing this at a desk I assembled myself from about 17,231 parts, so I guess there's that.
The eyes and the mood thing:
I was average at this the first time and I'll be average at it again this time, because I don't just look at eyes. I mean, I do look at eyes a lot, but the second thing I look at is the mouth. The eyes are not enough to reveal mood. You need to look at the mouth and most especially the corners of it. Anyway, I'm not going through this one again because it was boring the first time.
The finger-length thing: I am totally a woman, and in fact on my dominant hand, the ratio is like 1.1. I am a freak! But I am a womanly freak. NEXT.
The attractive-faces thing: I like girly-lookin' dudes, according to the BBC. Then again, I think what they define as "masculine" facial features we used to call "Neanderthal" facial features. Anyway, I blame Hollywood and Duran Duran for this. Especially that John Taylor.
Part 6: 3D Shapes
19 out of 20, bitches. Both times.
The weird part is, I always thought I was terrible at this. You know what I think helped? Don't laugh, but: The Sims. Yeah, the computer game. Because I got really into designing houses for the little pretend people (BUT I AM NOT GIRLY, don't you dare call me that), and in doing so I had to get beyond thinking about 2-D floor plans and into thinking about, how is this going to look all over? From the front yard, the back yard, from all angles? Is it really a very good house if it looks like hell from the neighborhood screen? And so on. Sure, it's fake 3-D, but it does get you to realize: A floor plan is not a home.
And all that experience told me is, it's possible: It is possible that maybe if you gave your daughter a set of Legos instead of the latest Barbie for her birthday, women wouldn't suck and/or get to thinking they suck (when perhaps they actually don't) at this 3-D shapes business. I think this may be a skill one can hone. I do not think it has nearly so much to do with estrogen or testosterone levels in the womb as it has to do with plain practice, but what do I know.
Overall rating: About 7 points above the dude average.
Well? What did you get? Or were you smart enough not to waste your time with it?