Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Fingers of fate
…According to Rita Rubin, USA Today, scientists—yes, with degrees and everything—are looking at the relative length of our index and ring fingers to figure out our characteristics.
…They think the difference between the length of these two fingers signifies the amount of the male hormone testosterone exposure in the womb.
…The longer the ring finger compared with the index finger, the higher the exposure.
…They do a ratio, dividing index finger length by ring finger length.
…Men tend to have longer ring fingers (the testosterone?) than index fingers, and a ratio less than 1.
…Women’s tend to be equal for a ratio of 1.
…Well, HA has a longer ring finger.
..Some doc immediately said that doesn’t matter, that this isn’t that great an indicator of a difference in genders—not like height, for instance.
…One researcher thinks he has linked lower finger ratios with less musicality, in men, that is. Supposedly, heteros have lower ratio than homosexual men. The biggest association is with low ratios affecting endurance, as in long distance running.
…They also think they see a link in osteoarthritis. A lower finger ratio, more common in men and athletes, could be linked to a greater risk of osteoarthritis in later life. Of course, this could be because people with this ratio tend to be more athletic and would stress joints more, leading to traumatic arthritis in later life.
…For women, the strongest link seems to be to osteoarthritis of the knee in women whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers.
…One doc said he didn’t see this as a powerful diagnostic tool. Probably not. And it isn’t even the fun finger anyhow.