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Gender and Handwriting Analysis

In my continual investigation into the expression of gender, I discovered a website that looks into the differences between "masculine" and "feminine" handwriting. As it turns out, a person's gender role is just as important as their biological sex when it comes to expression in handwriting. I have not delved into this very deeply, but it does seem to be another small part of a whole constellation of behaviors that are expressions of gender. I have quoted the following passage from's discussion of the topic:
Most English-speaking countries tend to characterize "feminine" handwriting as neat, even, round, small, ornate and symmetrical, while handwriting assumed to be "masculine" often gets described as hurried, uneven, messy, spiky, sloping and bold. One comparative study in another language (Hamid 1996) suggests that some of these stereotypes cross over into other cultures and writing systems.
One early study (Lester 1977) examined "males who write with handwriting judged to be feminine and vice versa" and concluded their handwriting "is not reliably associated in these studies with femininity or with sexual orientation." However, later studies have suggested that most people can discern a writer's sex with better than chance accuracy. One study of handwriting specimens from 73 men and 168 women (Sappington 2003) found a mean handwriting tidiness score for men was 1.8 and 2.8 for women, a significant difference of 1 point on a 5-point scale: "Masculine Gender Role predicted sloppy penmanship and Feminine Gender Role predicted tidy writing, independent of the writers' biological sex." Another study (Hayes 1996) found students were able to discern writer sex at the 75% accuracy level even with small amounts of material, sometimes only a single letter or a single geometric pattern: "It was suggested that sex or gender is present in handwriting in much the same way as it is present in movement of the whole body."

It is interesting that there are many outward expressions of our inner selves, not limited to our manner of dressing, but also including our choice of language, our gait, and our responses to different sorts of events.  This type of thing seems to be curiously fascinating, yet simultaneously extremely  threatening to a certain subset of people.  It is currently highly un-politically correct to entertain any ideas that we may, in fact, be influenced by anything other than our environment and our socio-economic status.  When the idea of digit ratio as an indicator of behavior and sexual orientation became a craze in the gay community after it was introduced on an episode of the "L Word" television show, it also was blasted by other segments of the lesbian community, as in this commentary for the blog True/Slant.  The fact is that studies show trends, correlations, and patterns, and they can be highly useful in the analysis of the aggregate, but it is more complicated to apply these finding from large groups to individuals. Still, I have found self exploration of these topics has rather been liberating and freeing, as it has confirmed what I already have known about myself, but which society denied.

Source: via Brian on Pinterest

When in doubt, tell the truth. --Mark Twain

While I was at it...

I couldn't help geeking out by taking at least one handwriting analysis quiz while searching for info on gender and handwriting. (It appears that I have androgynous handwriting, just FYI, although I never did a truly detailed analysis.)

Analysis Conducted By: Lady G 
Subject Of Handwriting Analysis: Ms. Gia R 
Handwriting Sample Details Size: Moderately Large 
Sample Ink Colour: Black    /   Writing Implement: Biro    /     Paper Type: Plain 

Personality Chart 
To begin the analysis, the subject's handwriting shows more of a fluency and flow than the average script. The writing impulse is unbroken and the words sweep forward with relative ease. This released writing indicates a generally easy-going and less conformist attitude than the average. The subject will prefer the unusual to the familiar, and will be more likely to express her emotions and feelings than a writer with restrained script. The pressure used throughout the script is average in intensity, indicating that the subject is able to maintain a balance between too much activity and too great a degree of lethargy

Hmm, this is true.  I've always been an independent thinker, and a bit of a non-conformist.  I also prided myself on my independence and autonomy from an early age, whether it was achieving financial independence at the age of 21, or going somewhere without the need to invite the whole clique along with me.

The subject has a signature that is larger than 85% of the population. She sees herself in a relative position of power and responsibility, with greater feelings of self-importance and worth. She is more confident than the average signer. The signature is written quite illegibly indicating some sense of superiority. Writers who scrawl their signature are saying that the reader of the document should know who they are, without having to actually be able to read the words. She is also conveying the impression that she is working at high speed under pressure, and this is all of her valuable time that she can spend on the issue. A small proportion of missing 'i' dots in the script indicates that the subject has mild tendencies towards an independent personality. She will be reasonably self-sufficient and resourceful individual who prefers to make her own decisions. She will be more cheerful resilient and placid than most, and be less concerned with the opinions of others. She can cope with crises, but prefers to be alone at times of emotional stress. She is less likely to want to be part of a group or movement if this interferes with her independent preferences. 

Wow, more again on my independence.  Maybe there is something to this 'psuedo-science' after all...
The handwriting is very simplified, and this indicates that the subject is highly intelligent (scoring 4 out of a possible 5 in the IQ categories). She has the intellectual capacity that would enable her to be successful in a career such as accountant, lawyer, doctor or university lecturer. 

 What!!! Only 4 out of 5?!  This stuff is bullshit.

There are some indications within the handwriting of compulsive behaviour. Compulsiveness is an anxiety reducing strategy in which the subject makes a ritual out of many of the most trivial aspects of life. When attempting to solve problems which cause anxiety, she will attempt to do so by constant and repetitive efforts. This will be maintained, even if the problem turns out to be insoluble. Such an exaggerated determination means that the subject is often regarded by others as being conscientious. However, because of these rigid problem solving strategies she finds it difficult to look at problems from a fresh angle and to consider a different method of approach. All these, and many other forms of compulsive behaviour are best summed up as 'not being able to leave well alone'. At present, the subject's level of compulsive behaviour is probably a mild inconvenience, but it could prove to dominate her existence. This should be taken as a warning sign to take life rather less seriously, to strive for less perfection, precision and order, and to relax more often. 

What? Me, complusive?  No!                            Does extreme sex count as a compulsion?

There are cases of isolated ambiguity throughout the script which shows that the subject is over-concerned with concealment. She is attempting to cover up, and keep aspects of her personality or private life hidden from view or cloaked in mystery. This type of handwriting is found in professions which demand a high degree of confidence keeping, such as lawyers, bankers and doctors. It is wrong to interpret isolated ambiguity as a sign of a deceitful personality, but it does show a need for the subject to hide some part of her personality or background which may cause embarrassment or anxiety. 

I knew this shit was quackery.

There are a few indications in the handwriting that, at the time of writing, the subject was suffering from mild stress. This may be temporary, for example if she was upset, tired, or working against a deadline. However, the subject may be living at an unacceptable level of stress, one which is beginning to affect her physical well being. She should try to reduce stress whenever possible, relax more frequently, check her diet, and perhaps take more exercise.  END OF REPORT I

Well, I guess I'll be putting out an invitation for more foot stools and massage sluts. Perhaps a trip to the spa is in order. Or, maybe I just need to kick more ass to get the endorphins going.