The finger, no not that finger:

The redoubtable hbdchick has struck again.  Before I get to the subject, let me sing her praises for a bit.  She is a blogger of phenomenal energy.  ( )  I spend many hours a week combing journals for things that might be of interest.  She delves into the web.  Her productivity in the parallel enterprises outdoes mine at least 10 to one.  Some days I think she must be more than one person. 

A couple of days ago (April 13) she posted two articles that address the ratio of the index finger length to ring finger length.  This is a new approach to me.  I had known that the ratio of middle finger length to ring finger length correlates with masculinity.  So for the nonce let me just roll it all up and say a long ring finger means high masculinity.  (In this and in other physical ways I score unusually high on the masculinity scale, in case you are wondering.)

The first article she cites finds that “inbreeding,” which they define as marriage of first cousins, results in longer ring fingers.  I kind of suspected that.  Of course ideal breeding, which I take to be third or fourth cousins, should do the same thing.  And outbreeding, which I define marrying someone less kin than ninth cousin, if obstinately pursued for generations, seems to me to produce feminized men.  I cannot claim ideal breeding in my own case for at least a couple of generations, so take it all with a grain of salt. 

Inbreeding also is correlated, in the study, with less financial success.  That sort of makes sense, too.  Flashy, hideously expensive cars do make one wonder, “What defect is he trying to make up for?”  Not that I wouldn’t buy one of those toys if I were really wallowing in the dough, but in real life I would rather others drive and maintain them and just let me stare.  Anyway rich men seem to be less masculine at least as defined in terms of reproductive success.  That finding is posted elsewhere on this site.

Her other article /also has to do with ring finger length.  It concerns itself with female fidelity and how that is influenced by ring finger length.  I made rather heavy weather of getting through the article.  For one thing I kept trying to tie it in with ideal breeding and masculinity, but this does not come up for debate.  For another thing I wasn’t really interested in female fidelity.  I have no woman whom I expect to be faithful to me (read that as meaning I don’t have a proper mate at all) no am I on the search. 

He did mention that Finnish men have longer ring fingers than anyone else and also have a sperm count that is double the world average so on this point the two articles are in agreement.  A quick glance at the statistics suggests that Finland’s fertility is catastrophically low and falling.  So there is a point against the concept that all the fertility decline in rich countries is due to lack of male virility. 

Oddly, the site I looked at for the statistics   avers that while better educated Finnish women are more likely to be childless, better educated men are less likely to be childless.  I would be misleading you if I said I understood everything here.

The article says that couples do not examine each other’s hands to see if they are good choices of mate.  I’m not so sure of that.  “Holding hands,” is almost the definition of courtship.  And I do reflect that the wedding ring is worn on the telltale ring finger.  I could claim an “aha” moment if it were only men who wore wedding rings.  That would mean that the ring is there to hobble his wander-seeking masculinity.  But it’s usually the woman, at least in this country, who wears the wedding ring.  If there is a connection there, you can make it as well as I.  You might want to read that second web site before you make up your mind.

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