Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You might have heard that the length of the ring finger with respect to the index finger has something to do with testosterone. It is a great party conversation. It is also a great routine to use for pickup. Ask the girl to hold her hand close to her face while examining herself, then gently and playfully push it so she slaps herself in the face.

A more serious side to that is that this is one of the freak phenomena in science that actually hold true.

There is a whole field of 2D:4D research, and the correlations they find are stunning.

Here are some examples:
"low 2D:4D ratio in men predicts success, not only in sports or music, but also in job performance. According to the authors, low-2D:4D traders perform better (i.e., they earn more)"

A more complete list of traits that go with a long ring finger can be found here.

The reason this is interesting is that "2D:4D ratio can be used as a crude measure for prenatal androgen (i.e. testosterone) exposure".

In other words, all these positive traits do not just correlate with a random length relationship between body parts, they correlate with how much someone (men or woman) got in touch with the male sex hormone. The more you are/were exposed to male sex hormones, the better you do in life.

Now imagine you were a gene (or a complex of genes).

You are part of the genome of an American woman standing at a bar.

You exist for one reason only - you have been passed on from generation to generation until you got trapped in that woman's body. The No. 1 one trait that you have gained this way is to make sure you get passed on to the next generation. It is your absolute imperative - leaving this body through her womb is your justification and meaning of existence.

More importantly, you know you will be trapped in another body again. Together with a novel set of genes that could stem from someone at this very bar at this very night.

Since you are a (complex of) gene(s), you have the power to influence the behavior of that woman's body that you are trapped in.

You need to get passed on.

Being trapped in a body that doesn't procreate is your ultimate death.

Wouldn't you program that woman's brain using your protein encoding power to go for the best male out there? And if males who got in touch with more testosterone are the most successful - wouldn't you program that woman to seek exactly that? A high testosterone guy? And if that is easily detectable, not only by over-confident, loud and rowdy assholeness, but by the 2D:4D ratio, wouldn't that be something to look out for?

Make sure your fingernails are well trimmed guys, ladies are on the look for your hands! ;-)


  1. I hope that more that digit ratios will be elucidated by the further decoding of the human genome. Its fascinating stuff.

    Hopefully as our knowledge increases, we will be able to give women certain pre-natal vitamins that can "block" certain genes in fetal development that encode for predisposition to unwanted conditions as much as possible in the future.

  2. Agreed.

    It would be a great first step to get all women to quit drinking and smoking during pregnancy. That alone would eliminate certain "unwanted conditions" in the six figure range.

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