Hold your hands in front of you. Notice if your ring finger is longer than your index (pointing) finger. Are they the same size? If so, or if your ring finger is shorter, you’re a typical woman. If the ring finger is longer, you’re atypical.
Ask your next date to do this test. The size of a man’s, er, digits, may tell you a lot.
“Who cares? you say. “Is this a silly parlor game?”
In a “Salon” article called “Cupid’s Science,” reporter Rebecca Traister interviewed Chemistry.com creator, anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. Dr. Fisher is also the author of Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love and Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. In a discussion about the site’s profile assessment and one unusual question, she divulged a little-known fact: your fingers can speak volumes.
No, not just that one digit you raise in anger.
But your index and ring fingers. At least their ratio to each other’s length.
Dr. Fisher explains that “digit ratio” is related to the estrogen/testosterone ratio that begins before birth. “In the womb, the brain is washed over by estrogen and testosterone. If you have a lot more testosterone than estrogen in the womb, it is going to build a longer fourth finger than second finger. If you’ve got a lot more estrogen in the womb, the pointer finger will be longer.
“There are three testosterone bursts: one in the womb, one in infancy and a giant spurt in puberty. But if you have more testosterone in the womb and you have a longer fourth finger, you’re more likely to have musical ability, mathematical abilities, to be an engineer or architect or good at computer programming. You tend to have poorer social skills but be direct, decisive, ambitious, competitive. What they call ‘extreme male brain’ is when you’re overly flooded with testosterone and are pushed into the autistic spectrum. And football players are very high on testosterone and estrogen. So you can be high in both.
“[If you have more estrogen, you usually] have good verbal skills, can find the right word rapidly, are good at remembering, better at compassion, nurturing, patience, have good people skills, and are better at reading posture, gesture, tone of voice and facial features.”
Now I’m not here to argue if male/female stereotypes are, in fact, based on science, or that one can be decisive, direct, competitive and ambitious even with a puny ring finger. These are mostly skills that can be learned, just as can compassion, memory, verbal and people skills. She’s talking about natural inclinations, not learned skills here.
So experiment with this one. Notice the finger ratio on your next date. Then see he fits Dr. Fisher’s findings or if he has great people skills despite his handicap of a longer ring finger. Report back to us what you find.
(BTW, my ring finger is slightly longer.)
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