Stories tagged hormones

Jan
16
2009

Happy fingers: They're only smiling because they've just thought of mean things to do to you, though.
Happy fingers: They're only smiling because they've just thought of mean things to do to you, though.Courtesy peyri
Hooray, everybody! Get out your hands and your eyeballs, because we’re going to going to be looking at our fingers with our eyes, and making snap, unscientific judgments based on subtle trends observed in scientific research!

Hey, it’s Friday, after all, isn’t it? Take off your mittens and start lookin’!

(Unless you’re reading this from, like, California or Indonesia. Then you don’t get to participate. All y’all go find some mittens, and imagine what it’s like to wait for the bus when it’s -15 Fahrenheit out. Ooh, I’m angry.)

Oh, also, I’m afraid that the ladies will have to sit most of this one out as well. You can still look at your hands, or whatever, and we might have something for you later, but mostly this is boys’ club time.

Anyhoo, the scaly tail of years of research has just dragged by us, bearing the news that men with long ring fingers are more successful stock traders. Yowza! All right, guys, take a look; are you going to be successful in the stock market?

Wait, what? You have no interest in being a stock trader? Me neither? Oh. Well, let’s follow this tail-end news item up to the hips: back in the year 2005, we learned that men with relatively long ring fingers (compared to the index finger) have been exposed to a greater amount of testosterone in his mother’s womb, and, therefore, are more likely to be physically aggressive individuals. This aggressive behavior is likely what leads to success in the dog-eat-dog world of expensive suits, country clubs, and golfing that is stock trading.

Guess who this hand belongs to: All right, what can y'all tell JGordon about himself?
Guess who this hand belongs to: All right, what can y'all tell JGordon about himself?Courtesy JGordon
So take another look, everyone (everyone with a Y-chromosome, anyway). Are you a violent, aggressive dude? Does your ring finger tower over your little pointer? (If it’s not clear, take a look at your other hand. Is it gouging, clawing, or strangling something? Because that’s another strong sign of aggressive behavior.)

That’s interesting, isn’t it? We’re always looking for ways to see who’s more manly, and we don’t even have to disrobe for this one. But wait one more second, because this research beast goes even further back.

A study done in 2000 suggests that there may be a link between ring finger size and sexual orientation. (Ladies, you might want to toss an ear this way now, because this concerns you too.)

The research seemed to show that men who have a ring finger that is much larger than their index finger (the characteristic associated with aggressiveness in the later studies) were more likely to be gay—but only if they have older brothers.

Think back… do you have any brothers? Are they older than you? What about your ring finger—where’s it at?

And, women, the study has something to say about y’all as well. While most men have some noticeable difference in their ring and index finger lengths, most women have index and ring fingers that are much closer to each other in length. Lesbian women, however, often have a greater difference in the length of these fingers than straight women do.

Take a look, ladies. Were you straight or gay all this time, and it turns out that your fingers don’t agree?

It’s probably not worth getting too worked up about. If you have been acting aggressive all your life, and just found out that you’re living a lie… don’t worry about it. These are statistical associations, but they don’t mean nuthin’ about who you are.

How was that? Now put your mittens back on.

Jan
24
2007

Should courts have the power to chemically change a convict's body?: Photo US Dept. of State
Should courts have the power to chemically change a convict's body?: Photo US Dept. of State

Great Britain is considering new laws that would require sex offenders to receive hormone injections. Hormones – such as estrogen and testosterone -- are chemicals produced by the body that stimulate or regulate tissues to act in certain ways. Lawmakers think the injections – also known as “chemical castration” – would prevent future attacks. But some people object, arguing the government has no right to change our body chemistry.

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