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Girls and Boys Are Similar

Gender Bending: Are Girls & Boys More Alike Than We Think?

I've always thought that gender is more of a sliding scale than a binary choice — you're not just one or the other, but that everyone falls somewhere in the spectrum between fairy princesses and Hulk Hogan. It's a snips, snails, and puppydog tails day in the news — gender, and our perception of it, is hot.

  • Ever wanted to know what gender your computer thinks you are? With a tiny click you can find out what your browser history says about your skirt or pant-wearing habits (gross generalization, noted.) Using data from the web demographic wizard Quantcast, the tricky program will analyze you in a second. Perhaps proving my sliding scale theory (apologies to the scientific theory) I scored 50 percent male and 50 percent female. How about you?

Really who wouldn't want a tutu and a wand? To see what else is happening in the world of gender (hint: Third-Sex toilets and naked parades!)


  • A school in rural Thailand discovered that a full 10 percent of the boys consider themselves to be transsexuals, and are uncomfortable with using the boys' bathroom. The solution? A third-sex toilet was installed to serve the middle of the spectrum population. I'm sure you're wondering — the little picture on the door is split down the middle, half boy, half girl.
  • The Olympics gender-testing is underway. A throw-back to the 1960s when (gasp!) women athletes had to parade naked in front of judges to prove their girlihood. It's a scientifically dicey practice, as some women do test more masculine than others due to a chromosomal birth defect. The tests have never uncovered a gender switcheroo, but one case in the modern Olympics exists. In 1936 a German athlete was forced by the Nazis to compete as a woman. He/she scored fourth.
  • Maybe like the US is embracing the purple-state from the melding of red and blue, gender is moving lavender from the girlie pink and the little boy blue? Is that some sugar, spice, and everything nice?


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