The sex prevalence of idiopathic focal dystonia is reported from a data base review of all patients seen at the National Hospital of Neurology, Queen Square and King's College, London up to 1993. There was a higher prevalence of females to males in all categories of focal dystonia involving the craniocervical region. The female to male ratio for cranial dystonia was 1.92:1 (P < 0.01) and 1.6:1 (P < 0.001) for spasmodic torticollis. On the other hand, twice as many men than women had writer's cramp (M:F = 2.0:1, P < 0.01). At present, there is no clear explanation to account for this differences in the sex prevalence of different types of focal dystonia.