September 24, 2008
Are You Gender Typical?
By Phillip Hodson
Of course the differences between the sexes are interesting (and sexy). But think for a moment about a beautiful Bangkok ladyboy compared to a 19-stone rugby prop forward. Or contrast a female shot- putter with that skeletal girl on the catwalk. The differences within each sex are equally interesting. Some Greek philosophers and Carl Gustav Jung believed that every psyche contained both male and female components in varying proportions. Recent evidence supports the idea of psychological gender as a spectrum, and that your place on the spectrum is not necessarily related to your genetic or physical gender. So, forgetting your outer biology and chromosomes for a moment, where do you belong on the behavioural chart? Even if we use oversimplified categories from popular science, are you more a Man from Venus or less a Woman from Mars? Tick either A or B to indicate which of the following most closely reflects your preference:
1. A. Sex and the City
B. Top Gear
2. A. Football
3. A. History documentary
B. Human interest documentary
4. A. Colour supplement
B. Foreign news section
5. A. Go shopping
B. Wash your car
6. A. Camping
7. A. DIY
B. Get a professional in
8. A. Jane Austen
B. H Rider Haggard
9. A. Handkerchief
B. Packet of tissues
10. A. Chapped lips
11. A. Bath
12. A. Lager
B. Gin and tonic
13. A. I can spend hours shopping
B. I like to get in and out with a minimum of fuss
14. A. I need to find the exact right pattern and colour for my curtains
B. I prefer blinds
15. A. I like to cuddle after morning sex
B. I like to jump straight in the shower
16. A. I worry about getting my hair wet
B. I wear a hat
17. A. It takes me about five minutes to get ready in the morning
B. It takes me 45 minutes to get ready in the morning
18. A. I can find my keys in in less than five seconds
B.I have to hunt around to find my keys
19. A. I moisturise my whole body
B. I moisturise my face
20. A. If I found a dead mouse in my kitchen I'd dispose of it myself
B. I'd ask someone else to get rid of it
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
A 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
B 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1
0-6 Men: You are a man's man, and not especially in touch with your feminine side. Be careful you don't slip into pitfalls like insensitivity and poor communication.
Women: You are in touch with your inner animus - you defy gender stereotypes and plough your own furrow. This does not necessarily mean you're a tomboy or a ladette, just a girl who dares to be different.
7-14 Men and women: You're in the middle ground of the gender spectrum so you can appreciate both masculine and feminine pursuits without getting hung up on what seems gender "appropriate" or whether your sexuality is being impugned.
15-20 Men: You're in touch with your femininity, but this should not be confused with being camp or girly. Appreciating feminine virtues can help you to empathise with the opposite sex - a very attractive quality.
Women: You appear to be made of sugar and spice and all things nice, but beware of "doll's house" syndrome.
Phillip Hodson is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy - www.bacp.co.uk www.philliphodson.co.uk
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