Nicholas Kristof in the NYT muses on the findings from a recent study showing that many lesbians – like most men – will have a ring finger that is longer than their index finger whilst women generally, have an index and ring finger roughly the same in length. A quick, albeit unscientific, check reveals that I’ve got lesbian fingers and were it not for the fact that I’m also a bloke – which could explain it – I’d be off shopping for comfortable shoes without delay!
Kristof’s topic is the nature or nurture debate in respect of the origins of homosexuality. He reports that informed scientific opinion is increasingly leaning towards nature as the significant causative factor, though he doesn’t allude to whether nature might also explain television horrors like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy – or is that “Buy?” – but, inevitably… I digress.
He covers an interesting range of findings including one that relates to how we blink. When males and females are exposed to a loud noise, they blink in somewhat different ways ¢â¬â except that lesbians appear to blink like men, not like women. Other findings include the fact that identical twins are much more likely to both be homosexual than are fraternal twins and what about this fascinating detail? Compared with straight men, gay men appear to have a larger suprachiasmatic nucleus, a part of the brain that affects behavior, and some studies show most gay men have a larger isthmus of the corpus callosum ¢â¬â which may also be true of left-handed people. And that’s intriguing because gays are 39 percent more likely to be left-handed than straight people.
I’m not left-handed nor am I aware of the size of my corpus callosum isthmus – and I don’t think that checking it out at home is recommended. I don’t have any older brothers either, though Kristof covers a finding that suggests that a male is more likely to be gay if he has older brothers. It doesn’t matter if he has older sisters, but for each older brother he is about 33 percent more likely to be gay.
This is getting worrying: apart from the finger thingo, I’m clearly failing Fag 101. I wonder what Ellen de Generes is up to these days……?