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Spark.com's Gender Test, Dissected
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(This was first a comment on silverseastar's entry about her results on this survey, but I found it interesting enough to repost here.)

Gender Test

They did get my gender right, but it's interesting how the test works. It just builds a statistical model based on the answers of a large number of respondents, and tries to fit a respondent's answer to the existing data.

What's really interesting about this is that it exploits the nurture side of the nature/nurture question. Since men and women in this society are conditioned to think and act in certain ways, a lot of the results are due to this conditioning. For instance, regardless of nature, men are conditioned to be "rational" and women to be "emotional," so any question that they pose that hinges on this dichotomy are going to give away the gender of the respondent in a statistically likely number of cases. The question about the last letter of one's middle name struck me as a bit of a cheat, though.

I consider men to be more repressively conditioned than women are, currently, and the survey results seem to agree with me. Notice the clustering of male respondents is much tighter than the clustering of female respondents -- in fact, the female respondents are literally all over the map:

spark.com gender test chart

I wonder what that clump of blue down in the right hand corner is about?

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And the looser circle above it and a little to the left?

I think perhaps you are not as straight as you seem...

...because I am a man!!!

Quite solidly a man -- 86%, same as you, and in fact they plotted my little + in very much the same place.

I am so much more secure in my masculinity now -- thank you, TheSpark.com!

Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go shave and scratch my balls.

Re: I think perhaps you are not as straight as you seem...

Funny. I got the exact same results as you two! I sense something fishy here!

Re: I think perhaps you are not as straight as you seem...

Hmm.. I think it said I was 67% female or summat... o__o

I am different...

Re: I think perhaps you are not as straight as you seem...

Hmmm ...

I got exactly the same result. Little X in the same spot, 86% certainty, etc.

Okay, I have another theory, maybe the results are similar because we all share character traits in common? I mean, why are our journals linked, and why do we muse over similar ideas, and generally find each other interesting? Hmmmmmm?

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