Pop-Culture | Posted by Shanminio D on 07/15/2010

Sparknotes Gender Test and Gender Stereotypes

sparknotes: more than just helping you cheat!

sparknotes: more than just helping you cheat!

Ok, the gender test on the Sparknotes website really pisses me off.

Their claim: “Guys and girls are different in ways only we realize. In fact, without asking about your clohtes, grooming, or chest, our Gender Test will predict, with 100% accuracy, whether you’re a guy or a girl. This test’s patented Geni-Tell technology has gotten smarter with every taker. Finally, witness the true power of the Internet.”

I took the test and, apparently, I am a man:

“Well, deep down, your gender affects everything about you, from your favorite number to your views on Canada. Many men who took the test think and act just like you, as you can see from the graph above. Statistically speaking, you are a man—whether you know it or not.”

I’m not offended. But really? It’s stupid to say that all/most people act and think alike just because of their gender. I’m not “statistically” a man. I’m not secretly a man just because I think a certain way. I’m just a person.

And here’s the picture that went with the results:

I think it’s supposed to be…a “butch” female? Since they’re only 36% sure I’m a male?

Thank you, Sparknotes, for adding more gender stereotypes into the world!

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  • TR @ at 1:11 pm, July 15th, 2010

    no photo showing.

  • ACW @ at 1:15 pm, July 15th, 2010

    Hmm. They’re (incorrectly) 44% certain I’m a man. Ha.

  • The Raisin Girl @ at 2:54 pm, July 15th, 2010

    Hah. It guessed right about me, but it was only 4% sure. I was tempted to lie and say I was a man, just to skew their results.

    Here’s some food for thought: do gender identities even make sense in light of the idea that sex only affects you biologically and not psychologically, socially, culturally, mentally, or emotionally?

    More brainfood: How much does biology affect these other factors in the first place?

  • Freddy-May @ at 4:23 pm, July 15th, 2010

    That was the stupidest test I’ve ever taken.

  • AntiSlice @ at 4:39 pm, July 15th, 2010

    Same, it was only 4% sure that I am a woman. Probably not statistically significant.

  • Sarah @ at 11:15 am, July 16th, 2010

    It was 8% sure I’m a woman. DUMB. Yeah, I have a vagina, but I’m not a woman. I’m not a man. I’m a person for fuck’s sake. Get it right.

  • Ruthie G @ at 12:54 pm, July 16th, 2010

    “Do you sleep on your back or your stomach?” Neither, I sleep on my side. Although I liked when it asked if the quiz was impressive or idiotic.

  • RebJ @ at 11:28 am, July 17th, 2010

    And of course there are ONLY 2 gender identities

  • Holly @ at 7:17 pm, July 17th, 2010

    But by cashing in on the constructed nature of gender, they’re totally acknowledging it. If gender didn’t imply things that sex doesn’t, there would be no point to such a test, even as a joke.

  • Roni @ at 2:25 am, July 18th, 2010

    What a ridiculous test. It was 16% sure I’m a woman. I’ll have to admit that it was right, but most of those questions didn’t seem to have anything to do with gender, and for many I just couldn’t decide between an answer. It would make more sense to make it some sort of personality quiz. Oh, and I just love how you have to be signed in to take the test(sarcasm), since signing up requires choosing your gender (I tried signing in with a social-networking site, but it didn’t work). Although I’m not sure if that would actually affect the answer.

  • Lenora @ at 2:38 pm, July 18th, 2010

    I know it’s a bit weird to say that I did the test but anyway. That’s what it said

    “Compared to others…

    5% more male than you — 2% like you — 92% more female than you
    How do we know? Well, deep down, your gender affects everything about you, from your favorite number to your views on Canada. Many men who took the test think and act just like you, as you can see from the graph above.
    Statistically speaking, you are a man—whether you know it or not.”

    I know I am not a man, fucking shit. Oh, and the picture was a picture of a man with shaved-legs, high heels and a skirt. Wow… They didn’t have anything to do so they decided to do that. Go get a life, Sparknotes…

  • Shanmin @ at 11:53 pm, July 18th, 2010

    Uh, hi there, OP here. I’d like to add that I spent a couple of years slightly questioning my gender ID, because parts of my personality were stereotypically “male”. The more I think about gender, the less I even understand it… And now I don’t even know what gender is anymore.

    Uh. I just don’t know. I just live as a girl because it’s uncomplicated. I guess I’m okay with my vagina.

    Yeah, stupid quiz.

  • AJ @ at 4:00 am, July 19th, 2010

    They are 0% certain I am a woman. That’s comforting.

  • luvz @ at 6:26 pm, July 23rd, 2010

    I’m 8% woman…not sure if I should be happy or upset…

  • shab @ at 3:15 am, July 26th, 2010

    On the last page:
    “Men are LESS likely to call this test “idiotic” than women.”

  • blakerivers @ at 2:19 am, August 21st, 2010

    The Sparknotes authors might be silly in trying to tell people what gender they are, but the test is nevertheless interesting. I say this because it’s claimed to be purely statistical, which allows it to somewhat accurately show sex-based differences in a survey.

    Women and men do prefer some answers over others, which is interesting….interesting because, on this test, the questions appear to be gender-irrelevant. There are a few that are suspicious; one question asks whether the prospect of nuclear war can be in any way exciting – I think guys are more likely to fantasize about war. After all, warfare is glorified in masculine culture much more than feminine. But the vast majority seem unpredictable.

    The bottom line is, girls are answering statistically differently than boys. The question is not whether this is prescriptive of gender. The question is, why does gender affect the results? What does that tell us about the effect of gender identity on the mind?

  • Katie @ at 12:37 am, September 26th, 2010

    10% sure I am a man. I’m sure asking about my sleep position and favorite types of snacks really helped them get that accurate result. Oh, except for the fact that I’m a woman.

  • Simim @ at 2:52 am, March 23rd, 2011

    With some of the questions, the results are so close to 50-50 that you can’t really put a male or female association with them.

    I appreciate the test as a joke; if someone actually thinks that realizing the SCIENTIFIC FACT that clams are alive makes them more of a man or more of a woman, then they’re a complete idiot.

    It said it was 87% sure I was a man. That’s pretty frickin high there for being wrong.

    Then again, while being anatomically female, I definitely portray features such as aggressiveness and assertiveness that are stereotypically viewed as “masculine.”

    I wonder if it thinks we’re all men because, unlike the stereotype of the “fragile damsel,” we’re women with metaphorical cajones?

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