I have done quite a bit of work on my website this weekend, adding about 45 articles, mainly about the issue of the development of sexual dimorphisms in the brain.
Doing so, I came across a brand-new study from a Swedish research group (Madison, Aasa, Wallert, Woodley) from Umeå University titled “Feminist activist women are masculinized in terms of digit-ratio and social dominance: a possible explanation for the feminist paradox”, published in the journal “Frontiers in psychology”. The article is available for free at full length.
The Swedish scientists studied the finger ratios and the social dominance of 25 female participants of a feminist conference. This data was compared to a female control group, and highly significant effect sizes were found.
Finger length ratios have been shown to be a marker for the exposure to sex hormones before birth. The size of the difference found in the studied group “corresponds approximately to a 30 % difference in prenatal testosterone/estradiol ratio”, meaning that the study participants experienced a higher masculinising effect in the womb compared to average women.” “It is notable that the feminist activist sample 2D:4D was also more masculinized than those of the male comparison samples, except for the left hand in the aggregate sample.”
On social dominance (measured by the Ray Directiveness scale), a similar effect was found. Dominance ratings were higher than in the control samples representative of women in general. “Directiveness self-ratings also exhibit a large and highly significant difference in the predicted direction.” “These effect sizes are quite large as psychological dimensions go, and sex differences in personality, for comparison, tend to be 0.1–0.4 (Feingold, 1994). The high levels of statistical significance obtained is of course a product of large mean differences as well as a small variance within each group.”
Please read the article for yourself – it discusses relevant questions, such as the size of the sample, the significance of the effects found, the representativeness of the control group, etc.
I’m fully aware that this is only one study, and it needs replication before conclusions can be drawn… but in the light of the recent discussion about TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) and sex differences in the brain … I can’t resist the thought that some cisgendered female feminists may have more masculine traits than the average male-to-female transsexual… wouldn’t that have some explanatory power? And wouldn’t that turn the world on its head for some, and perhaps finally result in accepting and tolerating all gender behaviour and expression as equal?
PS: I find this theory quite plausible. All you have to grant is that personality differences between people exist, and that personality has an impact on choices people make. Voila – these two assumptions mean that the average personality profile of people in certain interest groups, clubs, etc. is likely to be different from the average of the general population. Don’t kill the messenger – the aim of my website is to collect scientific articles, and I intend to report the facts as they are scientifically observed.
What’s new? >