Number gender: Associating gender with numbers

A few years back, talking with my wife and some friends, I brought up how I had always labeled numbers with a gender. Each number could either be male or female, and there were the occasional it could go either way. Some agreed that they did the same, while others were baffled by such a weird association. However, I quickly jumped on the internet to prove that I wasn't the only one.

Gender association of numbers is more common than one may think. In fact there was a recent publication about the genders of numbers, even within differing languages. Even more surprising was that its finding coincided somewhat with my thoughts about gender assignment of numbers. I tend to associate more odd numbers as male (insert male jokes here), whereas the even numbers are more associated with females. There are exceptions in my list, and I know that people who tend to think this way don't always agree on the genders.

Here is a shortlist of mine (top ten)

  1. Male
  2. Male
  3. Male
  4. Female
  5. Male
  6. Female
  7. Male
  8. Male
  9. Female
  10. Female

The higher and more numbers mixed in, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to assign a gender, but I can do it for all numbers. Some may just come across as 'gender neutral'.

Why is this?

That is the question, why do some people associate genders with numbers. In a world where gender is clearly defined (though it has blurred some), the association of genders to inanimate objects is societal and quite normal. Think about when people talk about their cars, "Wow, she's a beaut, isn't she?" We assign gender to objects and even numbers and letters because it is in part how we define the world around us. I loved reading this recent article about this very thing, check it out here!

Share what your gender to number assignments are!

I am curious to see what others think about the topic overall, as well as if they do use gender assignment of numbers, what are they? Please share!

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Comments 10 comments

Eric 5 years ago

I think that...

1 is a girl

2 is a girl

3 is a boy

4 is a boy

5 is a tomboy

6 is a boy

7 is a fine young lass

8 is one solid dude

9 is a classy lady

10 is also fellow

profile image

Deb Welch 5 years ago

Thumbs up and interesting Hub. I have named a huge plant of mine Mergatroid - 'Heavens to Mergatroid' - I think it is female - not sure - though. I wouldn't be a normal numbered female in my estimation.

cdunny 5 years ago

I also use to do this as a child. I thought it was strange as I got older and found that few people did the same. I spoke with my brother about it and it is not that uncommon. In fact, for those who have studied romance languages, most everything has a gender association. I can't come up with any good example off the top of my head, but I'm sure that someone reading this can. I always saw the numbers 1,4,5,8,9 and 10 to be masculin, and the numbers 2,3,6, and 7 to be feminine. I'm not really sure, but is is nice to know I am not the only one.

Zee 4 years ago

Phew! What a relief to know I'm not the only one!

1 - meek type of man

2 - young girl

3 - young girl (2 & 3 are actually friends)

4 - middle aged man

5 - fiesty middle aged woman (4 & 5 are not maried but are in a long term relationship)

6 - mischievous young boy (6 is actually 5's younger brother)

7 - mischievous young boy (6 & 7 are bosom buddies)

8 - twenty something woman (loves the men, even though she is in a relationship with 9, she is also 7's older sister)

9 - twenty something male

10 - old man

moo 4 years ago

those cultures that believe boys are better than girls really annoy me! it is true, because girls scream and text and love JB.

I'mNotTheOnly1 4 years ago

01 - Male

02 - Male

03 - Female

04 - Female

05 - Male

06 - Female

07 - Female

08 - Female

09 - Female

10 - Male

11 - Male

12 - Male

13 - Female

14 - Female

15 - Male

16 - Female

17 - Female

18 - Female

19 - Female

20 - Male

Emily 3 years ago

For me it is...

1: Girl

2: Boy

3: Boy

4: Girl

5: Boy

6: Boy

7: Boy

8: Boy

9: Girl

0: Boy

I also do it with letters, days of the week and months.

Girls: AEFHIKLMNQRUVWXY, February, March, April, May, August and November, Monday and Thursday.

Boys:Eeverything else

It's still really vage though, but I'm still trying to work out what they look like and their personallities, though.

HerpDerp 3 years ago

1- Wise old woman

2- Mean/arrogant man in his early 20's

3- male (unsure about personality)

4- middle aged to elderly woman

5- young handsome teenage boy

6- troublesome preteen boy

7- attractive young woman

8- Fat guy

9- Strict 30-ish old woman

10- friendly middle-aged man

a_total_reject 2 years ago

1 - Male. Singularity. Specificity.

2 - Male. Duality. The seer and the seen inextricably linked. Self-consciousness.

3 - Female. Triplicity. Awareness of self extending to awareness of other. Identity contextualized.

tlt 10 months ago











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