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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fingers of destiny

This research was published in 2004. A little old but interesting.

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Academics find that the finger of destiny points their way

Male scientists are good at research because they have the hormone levels of women and long index fingers, a new study says.

A survey of academics at the University of Bath has found that male scientists typically have a level of the hormone oestrogen as high as their testosterone level.

Finger lengths These hormone levels are more usual in women than men, who normally have higher levels of testosterone.

The study draws on research which suggests that these unusual hormone levels in many male scientists cause the right side of their brains, which governs spatial and analytic skills, to develop strongly.

The study, which has been submitted to the British Journal of Psychology, also found that:

• these hormonal levels may make male scientists less likely to have children.
• those men with a higher level of oestrogen were more likely than average to have relatives with dyslexia, which may in part be caused by hormonal levels.
• women social scientists tended to have higher levels of testosterone, making their brains closer to those of males in general.

The study drew on work in the last few years which established that the levels of oestrogen and testosterone a person has can be seen in the relative length of their index (second) and ring (fourth) fingers. The ratio of the lengths is set before birth and remains the same throughout life.

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Full article: http://www.bath.ac.uk/pr/releases/fingerlength.htm

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