The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
Gene Guess
Status: Hoax (supposedly a magic trick, but it doesn't work)
I received this polite request this morning:

Dear web master ,
Please review this website that is able to determine a persons sex just by four visual questions.
Name : Gene Guess .com
Link : http://www.geneguess.com
Thank you ,
Pras Til


So here goes: it worked for me, correctly guessing my gender. I suppose it was an interesting ten-second time waster. I don't know why it worked. Obviously it has a 50/50 chance of getting the answer right (unless you're a hermaphrodite, which might trip it up a bit). My theory is that the color choice question must be an important clue, since guys probably tend to pick darker colors than women.

Update: Based on everyone's comments, the gender guesses it makes appear to be totally random. The trick is apparently that it will be right half the time, thus half the people will think it works. And yet it did fool me into wasting time with it.
PsychologyWebsites
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 10, 2005


It appears to trigger just on the color selected by the person.....

Top 2 are female, bottom 2 are male.
Posted by coit  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:31 AM
I want my 10 seconds back.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:34 AM
I just tried all the choices (Since I had some time to kill)

Apparently, you're right. Answering the first answer for question one leads to an error message.
The answers for questions 2 and 4 don't affect the outcome at all.

However, if you pick one of the two shades of pink in the third question, it will say you're female and if you pick grey of dark blue it will say you're male. So you're theory about the color choices is correct.
Posted by Kevin  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:34 AM
It said I was male. And yes, I picked one of the darker colours.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:47 AM
It also said I was male. I also think it's the color qeustion because I don't see how the other questions would help them detrime your gender.
Posted by Dany  in  Waco, Texas  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:28 AM
The first question was 'which bar is thicker'. Unless you're lying you'll always answer B, and if you choose A it stops.

The second and fourth are optical illusions of movement. I doubt that this illusion is dependant on sex.

The third is simply to pick a pink or gray box.

Seems rather unworkable to me. And it guessed wrong.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:29 AM
And it's not just the color question. It seems to be either random, or dependant on your answers to the last three.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:30 AM
It got it wrong for me. It said click on the colour you least like so I clicked the gray box (which is true) and it called me a woman!! I too would like my 10 seconds back!!
Posted by Gareth  in  Brighton  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  11:40 AM
I'm a man, baby. raspberry
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  12:17 PM
So I'm going to have to change the status on this thing. Apparently it's a magic trick that doesn't work. Thus, a hoax.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  01:07 PM
Something must be -really- wrong with me because 1) all the balls are black! and 2) it says I am male.
Posted by Jessica  in  case you were curious  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  01:39 PM
Mine guessed wrong....
Posted by X  in  McKinney, TX  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  02:14 PM
Well, since it's getting everybody wrong he just needs to switch the male and female text. Then it would be correct.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  02:19 PM
first time said i was male the second time i changed answer to question 3 and it said female
Posted by moonzgirl  in  hastings new zealand  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  02:59 PM
you all seemed to have a different question 3 to me, i had to click a red ball to make it disappear, said it was to test mouse then i had a picture of a man and woman with two black balls beside them and had to choose which one appealed, i chose the man the first time and the second time the woman
Posted by moonzgirl  in  hastings new zealand  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  03:03 PM
My husband and I did it together. We agreed on everything and are both therefore female!
Posted by pixie  in  Germany  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  03:22 PM
The site picked me as male. Despite my chromosomal oddity, this is probably right.

I'm not sure about the visual illusions, as many more males are supposed to be seeing movement in such illusions than females; But then, the barin is not always gender-specific, as some people show many aspects of the opposite gender in their menatl operations that others. It's a spectrum of behaviour that varies from individual to individual. One of the reasosn I hate it wink
Posted by DFStuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  03:23 PM
Same as moonzgirl, no color question but subtly different shaped balls next to pictures of a male and female. Tres it twice, both times was (correctly) deemed male.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  03:24 PM
The 3rd question is different now (random?), but it still is the key, click the balls near the woman = female, click the balls near the man = male.
Posted by coit  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  03:25 PM
Also, if you click the female or male picture when it tells you not to, the black circle you choose doesn't matter.

If you click the female, when you finish it'll tell you that you're male. If you click the male, when you finish it'll tell you that you're female.
Posted by Joe  in  Portland, OR  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  04:26 PM
Since I'm really bored, I inspected the HTML code in the pages.

Question 2 takes you to the same page no matter which you select.

Question 4 takes you to male or female based on which one you clicked previously, no matter which one you click.

Therefore, the only question that matters is question 3. There are 4 pages that you will arrive at based on whether or not you click one of the pictures. As others have pointed out, if you clicked one picture or the other, then it selects you as the opposite sex. Otherwise, it picks you as the same sex as the balls you select.

No magic at all.
Posted by coit  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  05:51 PM
It claimed I was female
I didn't get a different colour box question
my third question was to choose between a number of black balls (didn't see any balls either just circles)


I can do the same thing more accurately with just 1 question.

1) Are you male (Yes/No)
A.1) If you answered Yes you are male
A.2) If you answered No you are female

Unless you lied in your answer my question will determine your sex accurately. Thank you smile
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  07:13 PM
From what you all are saying, this sounds sort of like a robot version of a "cold reading" like a "psychic" like Sylvia Browne might do. The 50% of people it guesses correctly may spread the word about it among their friends; the 50% it gets wrong will tend to dismiss it as simply a waste of a minute or two and forget about the whole thing. Therefore, those who hear about it at all will tend to be those who hear that it was correct, making it sound like some amazing thing when it's actually just random.

I once read about a great scam that worked in a similar way. You obtain an email list of people who are interested in, say, football betting.

You pick an upcoming game. Half of them you tell that Team A is going to win this week. The other half you tell Team B is going to win.

After the game, you discard the half who received the incorrect prediction. You then pick another upcoming game and do the same thing with the remaining people.

Each week, you repeat this process. After a few weeks, you have reduced your list to a smaller number of people who have received an accurate "prediction" for each of the past several weeks. As far as they can see, you're a freaking wizard (especially if some of your picks were teams that were expected to lose).

You then announce that you are going to make one final prediction, for which you are charging a special price. Many of those people, based on the "predictions" they have seen up to that point, will happily pay for your "wisdom." Win or lose, since you've gotten their fee up front, you cash in Big Time.

It's a great scam. Only the hits count; the misses mean nothing.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  08:36 PM
Maybe they did away with the color question because people figured out the trick? I tried several times and always ended up with the "pick a ball" question.

There's another website out there that can "analyze" a piece of writing and try to use keywords to determine whether the writer is male or female. It's always wrong though.
Posted by Elizabeth  in  Austin, TX  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:27 PM
You can see a great deal if you set your browser to "View source" and look at the html code for each page. Also, drag your mouse over each choice without clicking and you'll see the next page to be called up with that choice appear in your browser window. If you click on the woman you are automatically directed to choices that always pick male. Vice versa if you pick female. The balls next to the female always direct you to pages that always select you as male and if you select the balls next to the man you are always directed to pages that pick you as female. I also see only black balls. I am betting all Mac users see only black balls. I have an idea on how it works but need more study and trial and error to be sure.
Posted by Steve  in  Ormond Beach, FL  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:46 PM
Now the picker question is something about special ducks. Um, okay.
Posted by Steph  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  02:57 AM
the illusions are very interesting ....
Posted by rai  in  london  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  06:15 AM
The "special duck" question really takes the cake. Looks like it's new, and they didn't really put too much effort into it. There are many ducks in the image, but TWO are "special," not just one. One is next to the woman in a bikini, one is next to the man in a swimsuit. Pick the woman, you're a man. Pick the man, you're a woman. Not random at all.
Posted by Matt  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  09:30 AM
I think absolutely any system for predicting gender is going to be right at least 50% of the time. Even if you're a hermaphrodite, Alex, the guess would have to be 50% right.

So I'm profoundly unimpressed with this stunt.
Posted by Big Gary in Tierra del Fuego  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  06:22 PM
Now its a "Which of these is not like the others puzzle" if you click the duckie near the woman then it says you are male if yo uclick near the man you are female
Posted by tim  on  Sat Nov 12, 2005  at  09:50 AM
Comments: Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.