Sunday, December 06, 2009


A few years ago we got news stories linking creased earlobes to heart problems. I looked at my own earlobes and saw creases. They are deeper now, but whether or not they have anything to do with the state of my heart I can't tell you.

Now we have stories about finger length in men. There's never been a secret that men with a ring finger longer than their index finger can be more tempermental, competitive, more aggressive, more macho. Studies with primates seem to back that up, but human beings are much more complicated, and live in a complicated society. The studies indicate that men with the longer finger had more of the hormone androgen while they were in the womb. The studies are a little blurry when it comes to direct cause and effect in aggression, sexual and otherwise, such as competition.

I looked around at some pictures of men. Most often it's hard to tell. Men usually don't stand with their hands out so you can readily see their finger length, but I was able to see the longer finger in pictures of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. It's hard to find a more macho character than the one they both played, James Bond.

OK, so what about my finger length? I have the longer ring finger, which meant I got an extra dose of androgen from my mother, but as to whether it's made me more aggressive, macho, or competitive, I'm afraid that despite the longer finger, I come up short in all those categories.

Oh yeah, temper. Well, I've never been short of temper, although it's caused me enough problems that at the age I am now it's been beat out of me.

Sorry, I pirated this article from a newspaper article on the Internet, but its attribution has been lost.
You've probably heard the joke that starts "Guys with big hands ..." But ever hear the one about people with long fourth fingers having huge tempers?

According to studies, a hormone known as androgen, which affects masculine traits like aggression and strength, can affect finger lengths during a baby's development in the womb. When there are high levels of this hormone, an individual's fourth finger becomes longer than his or her second finger.

Backing their research up by studying monkeys, the scientists from the University of Liverpool have found that species that have high levels of androgen (like baboons) have a tendency to be more competitive and promiscuous while monkeys that don't have as much are more monogamous and aren't necessarily in it to win it.

So the next time you meet a new guy, don't be afraid to grab a hold of his hand and make the comparison. It may just be the quickest way to find out whether or not he has a short ...fuse.

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