You Write Like A Girl

Why does girls’ handwriting look so… girlish? If one hundred anonymous handwritten essays from a college class were placed in front of me I could correctly deduce the author’s sex at least 80% of the time. I bet I could even pick out the lesbians.

I used to think that a biological basis for sex-specific handwriting was one of those theories I strongly suspected was true but didn’t have the evidence to prove. But it turns out there is evidence linking biology with girly handwriting:

This study investigated whether there could be a biological determinant of the judged gender of handwriting. It further investigated the potential interplay between these variables and sex role identification. The biological marker used was 2D:4D digit ratio (of index to ring finger length) which is negatively associated with prenatal testosterone and positively with prenatal oestrogen. Handwriting samples of 120 participants (half of each sex) were presented on computer to be rated for gender by 20 raters. Feedback on accuracy was given after each trial. These raters accurately identified the gender of two thirds of the sample and the rated difference between the sexes was large (d = 0.75). These ratings of handwriting gender correlated significantly with digit ratio and the femininity scale of the BSRI. A more conservative analysis this time within each sex found that women’s right hand digit ratio correlated with relative sexuality of handwriting, but there was no corresponding relationship for the males. These findings suggest that prenatal hormonal influences can affect later female handwriting performance and might even affect developmental inter-hemispheric differences, but do not appear to impact on males.

So all those big loop-de-loops and circles for dots in girls’ penmanship may be a result of estrogen exposure in the womb rather than peer pressure or “socialization” — that empty catch-all explanation feminists reflexively invoke.

I get this feeling that eventually nearly everything we do as humans will be explained by combinations of genes, enzymes, and hormones. The state of science is advancing like a locomotive in the direction of Darwinian determinism and away from the cultural determinism that has held sway over the human sciences for the past half century. With each new discovery stale ideologies like feminism wheeze another death rattle.

This site has an interesting legend detailing the differences between male and female penmanship styles. Skip the PC posturing in the beginning paragraphs and scroll down a bit to find the handwriting samples. The analysis is very comprehensive. For instance, if the white space inside your closed letters — like the letters a or d — is small, then you are probably a man.

Here is a sample of my handwriting:

manwriting.jpg
mathematically true.

According to the handwriting experts, the open ascenders on my ds and the sharp corners of my ns prove that I have a ten inch schlong.

My ideal woman would have handwriting that looked like this:

loveineveryletter.jpg
also mathematically true.

Can’t you just feel the love in those letters? I think I see a rainbow over the last word.

Coming Soon: The time I dated a girl I thought may have been a tranny and how I used her handwriting to help me make a critical decision.





Comments


  1. I get this feeling that eventually nearly everything we do as humans will be explained by combinations of genes, enzymes, and hormones. The state of science is advancing like a locomotive in the direction of Darwinian determinism and away from the cultural determinism that has held sway over the human sciences for the past half century. With each new discovery stale ideologies like feminism wheeze another death rattle.

    Just in the last few years the shift in power seems much more obvious.

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  2. give me mitt you i,am fillm work like

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  3. Wow, I always thought I had pretty masculine handwriting – now I’m not so sure. That said, mine looks like yours and both look like the “feminine” examples from that site.

    I get this feeling that eventually nearly everything we do as humans will be explained by combinations of genes, enzymes, and hormones. The state of science is advancing like a locomotive in the direction of Darwinian determinism and away from the cultural determinism that has held sway over the human sciences for the past half century. With each new discovery stale ideologies like feminism wheeze another death rattle.

    I don’t get how either three are logically connected. How does a biological explanation for human behavior lead to Darwinian determinism? And what does either have to do with feminism?

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  4. And did you just invent this Biomechanics is God category for this post? Why are so many people starved for some type of fundamentalist ideology? Is uncertainty about the world impossible to handle for a male in his 20’s?

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  5. The woman’s handwriting looks like mine did in third grade…and yours looks like mine now. Hmm. Riddle me that, handwriting master.

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  6. The “Candy is dandy” sample looks androgynous. It can plausibly belong to a non-girly female as it could to a man.

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  7. I would think the content would be more of a giveaway than the handwriting style, but I also think if you had 100 individuals copy an identical paragraph you would get the same result.

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  8. while i believe in nature, i know that people’s pathology’s are soundly rooted in their childhoods and formative years, esp in their ability to relate to other people. if van gogh hadn’t experienced a gloomy and sterile youth, would we still have a starry night? if madonna’s mother hadn’t died so early, leaving her to be raised by a distant father, would she be the top earning female singer in the world?

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  9. people’s pathology’s are soundly rooted in their childhoods and formative years,

    No doubt early childhood events can influence a person’s adulthood personality, but Van Gogh’s and Madonna’s examples prove nothing. Millions of children worldwide experience “gloomy and sterile youth” (although I’m not sure what that means) and millions of girls lose their mothers at an early age.

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  10. Your handwriting is far more femme than mine. I should have been a doctor….or a serial killer.

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  11. i’ll pose the question differently: if you kept all “nature” variables the same, but changed the “nurture” circumstances, would the outcome still be the same? if tiger woods was born into a world where black children could play golf (aka were allowed at the country clubs), would he be the #1 golfer today?

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  12. Nurture can affect outcomes within the narrow limits that are pre-defined by nature.

    The point about the poor little black children not being allowed on golf courses is idiotic. (Besides, Tiger Woods is one-quarter black, as far as I recall.)

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  13. Dr. Snacks,

    Darwinian determinism, in that evolutionary and sexual fitness drove people’s characteristics. These characteristics are explained by genetics, hormones, or enzymes.

    And this fitness encouraged the divergence between the sexes so that each gender specialized in different activities. This specialization led to psychological and physiological differences between the sexes that are at odds with feminist ideology.

    And divergent evolutionary fitness is soon to be at odds with racial equality.

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  14. Darwinian determinism, in that evolutionary and sexual fitness drove people’s characteristics. These characteristics are explained by genetics, hormones, or enzymes.

    Drive or influence? If you’re talking about trading absolute cultural determinism for absolute biological determinism then yeah, you lost me.

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  15. I must agree with dr_snacks here. The nature vs. nurture debate should really be modified to nature + nurture = evolution. It’s the interaction of the two that produces the observable phenomenon at present.

    To ignore one (genetics) or the other (environment) would be folly, and is tantamount to saying that evolution has stopped for humankind. It hasn’t. We’re still evolving, and the environmental pressures, which are ever-changing, still exert on us as readily as they did back in the caveman days.

    Adapt or die, or so they say.

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  16. PA, if the news I see in the papers is correct, nurture and culture can have rather more of an impact on the “narrow confines of nature” than you give it credit for.

    What about recent speculations that the careers to which Jews were confined by medieval European law actively encouraged Ashkenazi Jews to “breed” for intelligence?

    I do not know whether there are any well-designed studies confirming this (and I’m not certain how it could be confirmed with any certainty), but I have seen Steve Sailer discussing it seriously, and he certainly cannot be accused of excessive concern with political correctness.

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  17. where have i seen that handwriting before?

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  18. Clio, I don’t think we disagree. Culture and nurture can do a lot, includng pruning individuals for an aggregate change (as in, we’re still evolving), but culture and nurture don’t do miracles.

    As with human beings, as with everything else: ya gotta work with what ya got. That’s what I mean by “narrow confines of nature.”

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  19. wait, you mean nature and nurture INTERACT? amazing!
    nobel prize

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  20. The thesis about modern Jewish intelligence being derived from mediaeval Jews being driven into certain occupations is no more ‘cultural’ than any Darwinian explanation for evolutionary change. Natural selection occurs when a population with genetic variations faces new selective pressures from…the environment! You know, climate changing, ecosystems changing, new competitive species showing up, and other stuff. Genes are selected for, and against, and the genetic pattern changes over generations. Darwinism is about environmental ‘determinism’ as much as it is about genetic ‘determinism’.

    The effect of culture on genes is obvious and profound, insofar as it affects reproductive success. But culture itself may not be the proximate cause of certain patterns in human behaviour. The (more) proximate cause could be genetic variations selected for by cultural pressures. This no more implies that ‘culture’ somehow has more influence on genes than otherwise. It simply shows that culture is one among many environmental selective pressures, and a powerful one at that.

    dr_snacks is right. Interaction between environment and genes is built right into ‘Darwinism’. Trade cultural for biological determinism and you lose me, too.

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  21. If you’re talking about trading absolute cultural determinism for absolute biological determinism then yeah, you lost me.

    Well, look, no one says that culture doesn’t have any importance. Culture matters now, and it influenced Human evolution, notable examples being Jewish Intelligence, the racial diversity of India inspired by the caste system, and in The Mating Mind Miller discusses a tribe in Africa that has evolved advanced body paint and white teeth due to specific cultural selection for certain traits.

    BUT, all Roissy, I, and others are trying to say is there are some aspects of human nature that can be influenced by culture, but are not completely changeable if it goes against genetic/hormonal predispositions. Unfortunately, this basic premise is at odds with recent feminist ideology.

    Please don’t distort the nature/nurture argument. We all know that “complex interactions” between nature and nurture determine individual behavior.

    However, twin studies have shown us that a significant chunk of what we become is influenced by our genes.

    If this wasn’t so, then why would cloning be such a controversy? It’s because our genes are our IDENTITY, not something we can disregard at will through environments that foster different characteristics.

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  22. FTR I think that forced into certain occupations explanation is facile bullshit. Jews do so well today because they were lucky enough to stumble upon and prescribe a way of life that happened to actually work out so far for the past few millennia. I mean they’ve g0t a whole book – everything written down for them. And “so far” because they’re numbers don’t seem to be especially precipitous.

    And people who talk about “Ashkenazis” just want to sound like they know something.

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  23. There is something irritating about the “Ashkenazi IQ” talking points, so popular among the evol-bio crowd. My own IQ, and those of my wife, relatives, and most of my friends (and probably most people posting here) is significantly higher than the Ashkenazi 114 average, or whatever it’s supposed to be. And at least in my personal circle, none of us are Ashkenazis. There are tons of smart non-Ashkenazis out there too!

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  24. SO YOU DID KICK THAT GIRL IN THE BALLS!!!!! Did my test work or what?!?

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  25. That “ideal woman” sample handwriting looks like you stole it from a seven year old’s diary. Did Gannon write this post?

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  26. 1 john smith – women still want it and want it badly

    2 surykant – kant read your typing

    3-4 dr_snacks – a doctor of snacks should know

    5 gem – you both about sex alot – so…

    6 pa – he had to do the the imbedded “lick her” reference

    7 siestamilf – 100 people are all different

    8 tracylord – that Madonna thing sounds alot like … murder

    10 freckledk – You still can be a serial killer … or a doctor

    15 Hope – Life is really nature + nurture +chance +luck +blind luck +accidents +fate +glaciers or heat = evolution (what has happened so far…) and it helps that you are cute

    Have a happy new year ! everyone

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  27. There is something irritating about the “Ashkenazi IQ” talking points, so popular among the evol-bio crowd. My own IQ, and those of my wife, relatives, and most of my friends (and probably most people posting here) is significantly higher than the Ashkenazi 114 average, or whatever it’s supposed to be. And at least in my personal circle, none of us are Ashkenazis. There are tons of smart non-Ashkenazis out there too!
    There are tons of smart non-Ashkenazim at the Indian Institute of Technology. Group differences are about averages, not absolute traits. Women are shorter than men, but you can fill a room with six-foot-tall women. Doesn’t change the fact women are shorter than men.

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  28. Ashkenazis are meant to be genetically smart? In medicine, they just seem to be the example group for a lot of recessive disorders, some of which certainly put a great hindrance in the ‘smart’ direction.

    As far as I know, performance intelligence-wise is one of those things most influenced by nature. Surround them with the right books, put them in the right schools and have just the right type of parental pressure…

    Then again, someone explain to me those calculators which commonly masquerade as human males whom are naturally found studying physics and maths.

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  29. No surprise that I have pretty masculine handwriting — I believe the graphologist’s term for that is “illegible.” I also have a pronounced digit ratio in the masculine direction.

    Maybe it’s something that testosterone does to your fine motor skills — that’s why guys stink at sewing, knitting, etc., but we’re fine with wrenches and hammers. Our penmanship looks pretty uncoordinated, doesn’t it?

    Nice touch by using the phrase “math class” instead of just the subject “math” or a course title like “calculus.” It has an adorable high school innocence to it.

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  30. roissy, given your (inferred) age, i’m surprised to see that you write in cursive at all.

    i know very few males in their twenties or thirties who ever write in cursive, legal signatures notwithstanding – and, of those few, only a small minority have any outward indicators of alphaism.

    most alpha types i know either flat-out print – either in all caps (think a cop writing on a speeding ticket) or in letters much taller than they are wide – or ‘print-write’ (meaning still fundamentally printing, but with most of the letters connected in some way to economize).

    in your ideal girl’s handwriting, you forgot to make a ‘y’ or ‘j’ with a ginormous downward loop.

    the west coast has ‘silent speed dating’ wherein the speed-daters communicate only through handwritten notes. you’d have fun with that.

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  31. Ashkenazis are meant to be genetically smart? In medicine, they just seem to be the example group for a lot of recessive disorders, some of which certainly put a great hindrance in the ’smart’ direction.
    If you get two copies of the gene. If you get one… didn’t Harpending and Cochran say they had a Gaucher’s clinic in Israel where the average IQ was 120 or so? The theory, anyway, is that decreased amounts of the enzymes that break down brain chemicals leaves more of these chemicals (glucocerebrosides, etc.) for growth, but none at all means they build up to toxic levels and kill the baby.

    Then again, someone explain to me those calculators which commonly masquerade as human males whom are naturally found studying physics and maths.
    An accountant marries a shy girl. Their son marries the daughter of a statistician and a math teacher. Repeat ad nauseam.

    Here’s the problem: before the sexual revolution and outsourcing, a nerd was actually a pretty good catch. Sure, he’d never get to the top of the company, but he wasn’t going to cheat on your daughter or beat her up either. So these dudes got married. Now that women follow their own biological preferences instead of their mothers’, a nerd has a very hard time getting a date.

    The exception might be women whose mothers or sisters have been abused. I remember one girl who said her mother’s first husband used to beat her up and treat her like garbage, so she finally got away and married a science nerd, who was so happy to have a girl he treated her like a goddess.

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  32. “There is something irritating about the “Ashkenazi IQ” talking points, so popular among the evol-bio crowd. My own IQ, and those of my wife, relatives, and most of my friends (and probably most people posting here) is significantly higher than the Ashkenazi 114 average, or whatever it’s supposed to be. And at least in my personal circle, none of us are Ashkenazis. There are tons of smart non-Ashkenazis out there too!”

    Perhaps you’re not familiar with cumulative probability distributions.

    At any rate I have observed that most laymen obsessed with IQ and their relative position to the mean, tend to be unaccomplished anyway.

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  33. Some very heady comments here. I can hardly keep up. If I ever hook up with a man again I think I might try for a beta man with big balls. In my limited experience the alpha boys may look alpha men, but in reality they often have effectively shriveled balls. (i.e. are more cowardly than many betas) So the question is, can I tell by their handwriting which is which? The last alpha looking man I was with had handwriting like a woman. Thanks for bringing this up. Yet another area of study to make us more aware of what’s real and what’s an image.

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  34. long time reader. post that soon.. looking forward to a funny (and great) story

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  35. Roissy:

    “I get this feeling that eventually nearly everything we do as humans will be explained by combinations of genes, enzymes, and hormones. The state of science is advancing like a locomotive in the direction of Darwinian determinism and away from the cultural determinism that has held sway over the human sciences for the past half century.”

    Silly boy. “Darwinian determinism” and “Cultural determinism”: BOTH ARE TRUE. It’s only your superior knowledge but inferior intelligence that makes you unable to grasp that both are true. The truth of life is in accepting paradox as the only true reality.

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  36. Actually, Bridget, if either or both forms of determinism are correct, then there’s no point in complaining about how anyone behaves under their influence. They can’t help it. Where their genes don’t get them, their environment (=culture; nurture; economic situation etc.) will.

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  37. I prefer to believe in free will, alias clio, yet find myself acting in ways that prove that I am not free. As long as negatives are happening we don’t feel free, period. No matter the reason. We can explain the negatives (what “gets” us) in 100 different ways, but bottom line, we’re acting like preprogrammed robots most of the time.

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  38. i love you

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  39. this purple makes me feel disappointed. and the white colours in it make me disappointed more. thats what i sid i will send

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  40. […] asked her if she was a tomboy growing up, then I ran the digit ratio routine on her. She had a masculine ratio. I told her that meant she was “ambitious”, […]

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  41. […] Has a ring finger longer than her index finger. […]

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  42. Hilarious. A lost gem rediscovered.

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