How much fetal androgen were you exposed to? : LUSENET : like sands : One Thread

Look at the palm of your right hand. Measure from the crease at the base of your index finger to the tip of your finger. Then do the same with your right ring finger.

My right index and ring fingers are both 6.6 cm, making my index:ring ratio exactly 1.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000


I just love stuff like this. I ran right over and measured Jarrett's fingers (he was asleep) and got 2-13/16" (7.14 cm) for his ring finger and 2-12/16" (6.99 cm) for his index finger. Then I measured mine, which were, surprisingly (given that he's a good 5" taller), exactly as long as his, except in the reverse. My ring finger was 2-12/16" and my index finger was 2-13/16". So I guess according to that theory that makes me a heterosexual female and him a heterosexual male. Who knew?
Anyway, it's all really fascinating, and I'd love to hear some of the other factors epidemiologically associated with homosexuality. .................

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Hmmm... my right index is 6.5cm, my right ring finger is 6.25, That should make me (if I understand) hetrosexual female?!?!?!

Since that is defently not the case....

Always knew I was strange...

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Index finger, 7.2 cm; ring finger, 7.8 cm. And the woman I borrowed the ruler from at work thinks I'm a little odd; she only lent to me after I promised not to smack anybody on the hand with it.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Ring finger: 7.2 centimeters. Index finger: 7.1 centimeters. Does that mean I'm a lesbian? I forget.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

I think that's actually still within the normal heterosexual female range, Beth, but it does suggest that you had slightly higher fetal androgen exposure than some women.

Do you have any older brothers? Having older brothers increases the fetal androgen exposure of subsequent children, whether they're boys or girls. I don't know the mechanism of this, but apparently it's quite well established (unlike this whole hand thing, which I still have a lot of skepticism about).

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Index Finger: 7.5
Ring Finger: 7.0

What is this supposed to mean? All that science talk got my head a'whirling...

ms. e.=mc2

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

I just went to the library to try to get some actual quantitative data on these supposed sex differences in hands, but I could only find one paper on it, and that was for a journal to which UCSF cancelled its subscription in 1992, (which means that it must be really obscure).

But basically, the idea is that the greater your level of fetal androgen exposure, the smaller your index finger/ring finger ratio will be. So, according to this guy's findings, heterosexual men have the lowest ratio, then gay men, then gay women, and then straight women have the highest ratio.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Index 7.4, Ring 7.2

What are the defined ranges?

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

You may be doing a disservice to your readers by implying that there is a strict relationship between index:ring ratio and either sexual orientation or prenatal testosterone levels. In deed, it hasn't been established that there is any relation between prenatal testosterone levels and sexual orientation in human beings. Although you included some caveats regarding possible mechanisms, you didn't say anythins about within-group variability. Animal work has shown that any given level of prenatal androgen exposure can produce a range of adult phenotypes. That is, not everyone is equally responsive to androgens. These individual differences in individual responsiveness to steroid hormones has been a puzzle to reproductive endocrinologists for decades and still isn' resolved.

I expect that another problem with this work is that the investigators have no independent measure of prenatal androgen exposure. They're probably just making up a plausible story based on an adult sex difference that someone happened to notice. Right? There are lots of tidy stories in science that just aren't true.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Yep, I agree with what my dad says.

This poll is strictly for the purpose of amusement.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Well, keeping in mind this is for amusement purposes only:

To find your ratio, simply calculate
(index finger length)/(ring finger length)

Basically, the higher the number, the more you like boys. The lower the number, the more you like girls. Here's what we have so far:

Eleanor: 1.07
Grace: 1.02
Jen: 1.00
Beth: 0.99

Dave Van: 1.09
Kenny: 1.04
GlenS: 1.03
Jarrett: 0.98
Colin: 0.92

Going by the above (yes, very low sample size, but we do what we can), Eleanor is hetero, and Jen, Beth, and possibly Grace are borderline. For the men, Jarrett and Colin are hetero, Kenny and GlenS are borderline or homosexual, and Dave Van is a fairy boy.

Clearly this is not a valid test!

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Oops! I didn't use my index finger, but the one next to it. The correct value would be 7.8/8.0 = 0.975

Damn, I'm not a freak after all. Well, not by this test, anyway.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

I don't know Dave, I think you gain Brownie points for using the wrong finger.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

I'm exactly 7.1 on both fingers, giving me Jen's ratio as well. Now, oddly enough, I have (1) one older brother and (1) older sister. I don't know what that did to my androgen levels...but considering that I've never been in a successful (read: nonviolent) homosexual OR heterosexual relationship, maybe it means something.

I'd like to see the ratios for bisexual people as well; it'd be interesting to see how they compare to the other values.

Do I get brownie points for listening to Ani Difranco?

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

I'm surprised you didn't mention the case, much in the news lately because of a recent book, of the infant male whose penis was so badly damaged by a sloppy circumcision that the decision was made to castrate him and raise him as a girl. The notion at the time was that sexual identity was completely determined by child-rearing practices. The family made every attempt to treat the child as a girl, but her mannerisms and likes were more typically male than female. She always felt that something was wrong, but didn't know what. She became depressed and suicidal, and eventually her mother decided to tell her about her history. The child felt an immediate sense of relief and decided to have surgery and hormone supplementation to become male. He is now grown and fully male in appearance and role. If you can conclude anything from a single, sad story it suggests the very small androgen exposure during the fetal (and a few weeks of postnatal) period irreversibly molds the child to a "male" orientation.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

I don't know how much technology has progressed lately, but making or remaking a working penis is (I'll go all out here, and say next to impossible.) In fact, I'm not sure it's ever been successfully done.

John Bobbit's surgery was merely putting two parts back together. And that, I believe requires some serious microsurgery with mixed results.

One might blame the physicians for making everyone females (when there is some sort of problem) but that is the probably the most pragmatic decision.

(or use to be -- beats me, the ethics of the whole thing)

I guess I should go research sex change surgery: female to male. I'd be curious as to what the end result is like, compared to original equipment.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

When will the routine mutilation of male genitalia ever end? How many people will have to go through life with a crippled penis, or worse, before this barbaric practice is stopped?

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

T. Rice, I guess you haven't been reading very carefully, because I mentioned that very case in my March 1 entry when I mentioned reading the book about that case.

You're right, though, that I didn't mention it with respect to the finger thing, because I don't have a picture of that guy's hand. Also, as my dad pointed out, sexual orientation and identity is such a complicated issue that you really can't draw any broad conclusions about anything from one case.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Oh, a couple of other things about that botched circumcision case: fetal and postnatal androgen exposure is actually quite high in infant boys, and that kid didn't undergo castration until he was already 19 months old, so he actually got a pretty hefty dose of male hormones in his infancy.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Re what Andrea said... since I _am_ bisexual - I've had vaguely successful relationships (2-3months) with both guys and girls, and my ratio is now the higest (barring Dave's mistake and Elanor) > Kenny: 1.04 > GlenS: 1.03 > Jarrett: 0.98 > Colin: 0.92 there may be something to this androgen ratio thingy... Curious - I feel like taking some samples from various nigthclubs now... how does a "greasy womanising pig" compare to a "pink fairy boy" (excuse the terms... but as I've been both at times, I feel able to bag myself out )


-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

Hey, everybody, this study is coming out in this week's issue of Nature! I guess you get the inside scoop on scientific breakthroughs by reading my journal!

-- Anonymous, March 29, 2000

NPR did a story about the androgen study this morning. I felt so smart and well informed! Thanks for sharing!

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2000

One of the local news stations did a feature on this study today, and they mentioned your name and your diary!!

(and it's all true, except the parts about your name and diary)

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2000

my fingers are 8.3 and 8.3....i am 100% gay

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2001

Maybe I have this wrong but I see some short fingers out there.

Aren't you supposed to measure from the first knuckle (i.e. the one closest to the wrist) to the tip. This gives me 10.1 and 11.3 cm for index and ring respectively, and I haven't got particularly short fingers. This gives me a ratio of 0.89. Yes I am straight and male.

Can everybody remeasure and, whether I have got the method correct or not, give comparisons with measuring from the tip to the point where the finger touches the hand. (7.5/8.2 = 0.91 for me).

This information is importatnt. It could save me from doing a Crying Game.

-- Anonymous, January 29, 2002

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