Fingers point to promiscuity

There is a lot of “tut-tutting” that goes on when discussing the modern generation (well, post-modern really, but who’s counting?). Much of that disapproval centres around a lack of morality and an easy sexuality. Based on new research though, it seems that today’s humans are puritans compared to their ancestors.

To get our heads around this research we need to first understand that finger length is a revealing piece of personal data. Androgens are a group of hormones including testosterone that are involved in developing masculine characteristics. Research suggests that being exposed to high levels of androgens while the baby is in the womb also directly effects finger length.

Specifically, high levels of androgens increase the length of the fourth, or ring, finger. So a low index (second) finger to ring (fourth) finger ratio means high androgen levels in the womb. High androgen levels also correlate with aggression and promiscuity. That all adds up to longer ring fingers compared to the index/pointer finger indicating a greater disposition to masculine characteristics such as aggression, competitiveness, and promiscuity.

In this most recent research archaeologists decided to look at the “ring finger” : “index finger” ratios of our ancestors to see if we might gain a window into their social life.

The researchers analysed finger bone ratios of early apes, early human-like species (hominids; including Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus afarensis), and Neanderthals. The finger ratios of the Neanderthals and the early hominids proved to be significantly lower than those of living humans.

The indication then is that our ancestors were more competitive, aggressive, and promiscuous than we are today: at least that’s what their fingers point to.

On the next occasion then that you want to make a disparaging remark on present-day sexual morality you can scathingly observe, “They’re all at it like Neanderthals.” If you really want to make your point and impress, you could adjust it to, “They’re all at it like Australopithecus”…no-one will know what you are referring to, but you will sound incredibly learned.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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