Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Navigation abilities/skills of humans by sex and sexual orientation

  1. Feb 26, 2005 #1
    From New Scientist:

    More of the article is here:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7069
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2005 #2

    Curious3141

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I dunno, I'm a straight male and I have an absolutely crappy sense of direction.
     
  4. Mar 1, 2005 #3
    And I'm a female who reads maps and knows direction...
    I do agree that men and woman think differently, which is more then likely a good thing.
     
  5. Mar 1, 2005 #4
    And what is your 2D:4D ratio?
     
  6. Mar 1, 2005 #5
    Eh GADS....my ring finger is about 1/2 inch shorter.
     
  7. Mar 1, 2005 #6
    Your report (of a 4D that is shorter than a 2D) sounds unusual. The feminine norm (for females and feminine males) is equal-length 2D and 4D. The masculine norm (for males and masculine females) is a 2D that is shorter than the corresponding 4D. Would you post a photo of your hand, please?
     
  8. Mar 2, 2005 #7
    Yeah, that's a sex difference that's not noticeable unless you test large groups, same with verbal ability/reading comprehension. Spatial ability is the big one. I read some research on this and the causes are hormonal in nature. Here are the figures:

    study 1
    - females on the pill (higher estrogen) did worse than females menstruating (not on the pill that week, lower in estrogen) in spatial abilities, but better in manual dexterity and articulation (traditional female skills).
    ...estrogen inhibits spatial ability and enhances "female" abilities.

    study 2
    - males with high levels of testosterone did more poorly than males with low levels of testosterone, while females with higher levels of testosterone did better than females with low levels of testosterone.
    - in rats at a certain point, females with very high levels of estrogen behave like males. So the levels have to be precise for certain abilities.

    study 3
    - females with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (fetus exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb) posted scores much closer to CAH and normal males while normal females scored much lower. (I believe that 5/6 males will outscore females in this ability)
    - CAH males scored the same as average males.
    - 5-alpha reductase males (missing the enzyme to convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone), did worse than normal males and females.
    .......testosterone is responsible for increased spatial abilty.

    Also, in children and adolescent students, as the classes get harder, the gap btw males and females gets bigger. In 7th graders, when given new problems which they hadn't taken a course on, males did better again, learning to solve a strange new problem. Social factors were ruled out (I can outline how if you'd like).

    All taken from Robert Pool's Eve's Rib: The Biological Root of Sex Differences©1992, out of print except at copy stores as readers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2005
  9. Mar 2, 2005 #8
    My ratios are mismatched!!! Is this normal? My left ring finger is longer than my index finger by more than in the right hand.
     
  10. Mar 2, 2005 #9
    Your 4D lengths are higher than your 2D lengths? You said previously they were lower.
     
  11. Mar 2, 2005 #10
    That wasn't me. You are responding to me right?
     
  12. Mar 2, 2005 #11
    Attached below is an X-ray picture of what seems to be (since the second and fourth digits seem to be equal length) a typical female hand. I labeled the second and fourth digits so people can be clear on which are which.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2007
  13. Mar 2, 2005 #12
    Given the finger, how do you read maps

    Sorry. I confused you with Hypatia.



    Yes. I don't know if asymmetry of distal-ratios is abnormal, but I understand that in general some degree of body asymmetry is normal (although symmetrical faces are considered more attractive.) Anyway, apparently you have the finger. Would you say your map-reading strategies are more masculine (cartesian-coordinate and compass-direction driven; i.e., spatial) or feminine (landmark and follow-the-turns-recipe driven; i.e., verbal).
     
  14. Mar 2, 2005 #13

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    So what is this finger data? My index finger is a half inch shorter than my middle finger, and my ring finger is a quarter inch shorter than my middle finger. What does that make me? BTW, that writer is as blindly opinionated as he says his old teacher Chris Brand was.
     
  15. Mar 2, 2005 #14
    Given the finger, part 2: the distal years

    2D:4D ratio, which is the ratio of the distal length of the second digit (the index finger) to the distal length of the fourth digit (the ring finger) of the same hand. This ratio tends to be higher in heterosexual females (typically almost 1.00) than in males (and it may be important to measure this only in the right hand, I recently learned). This phenomenon may have something to do with in-utero androgen exposure (as one research-paper author put it, "There is evidence that the relative length of the 2nd and 4th digit (2D:4D) is negatively correlated with prenatal testosterone") and further may be linked to sexual dimorphism in personality and mental ability.



    It makes you a person with a 2D:4D distal difference of 1/4 inch. To get your 2D:4D ratio, you will need to measure your fingers' distal lengths. For example, if your ring finger turns out to be three inches, your 2D:4D ratio is 2.75/3.00=0.917. This is a typically masculine 2D:4D ratio, from what I have read.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2005
  16. Mar 2, 2005 #15
    I usually use landmarks. Here's a picture of my hands. I was tiliting it on the right a hand a bit, so the index fingers aren't exactly lined up. My right index and ring finger are about the same length. My left ring finger is about a fourth of an inch longer than my right.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2007
  17. Mar 3, 2005 #16

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I don't have a picture, but does this mean anything? All of the fingers on my left hand are longer than the fingers on my right hand, but the 4th and 5th digits on my left hand are significantly longer than their counterparts on the right hand. In fact, the 4th digit is only a slight bit shorter than the 3rd.
     
  18. Mar 3, 2005 #17
  19. Mar 3, 2005 #18
    Hmmm. "This sex difference in 2D:4D is greater on the right hand than on the left (see figure 1a below), indicating that the right-hand 2D:4D is more sensitive to fetal androgens than the left-hand ratio. The right-hand 2D:4D ratio of homosexual women was significantly more masculine (that is, smaller) than that of heterosexual women, and did not differ significantly from that of heterosexual men." And Swerve's right hand seems to be significantly less masculine than her left hand.
     
  20. Mar 3, 2005 #19
    wow, confusing. So my left hand is gay and my right hand is straight?
    Should I be bisexual or internally torn? :rofl:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Navigation abilities/skills of humans by sex and sexual orientation
  1. Sexual energy ? (Replies: 29)

  2. Sexual Freedom (Replies: 21)

Loading...