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Finger Gene

Finger Length as Related to Prentice, Prentis and Prentiss Surname
Summer 2000 and Revised 1 Apr 2000

By L. J. Dewald, Editor

This past week we noticed reported in the news an interesting study relating to a possible correlation between the relative lengths of the 1st and 3rd fingers and the sexual orientation of men and women. According to the study, in heterosexual men the 1st finger is usually shorter than the 3rd finger, and in women they are usually the same size.

However, homosexual men tend to have a longer first finger (as do women) and lesbians a shorter first finger (as do men). The article suggested the cause may be because of differences in hormonal differences at the time of conception.

We became curious whether there was any difference in 1st finger length as it relates to the various spellings of our surname: Prentice, Prentis and Prentiss.

As in our earlier study on toe genes, we conducted a random survey among our correspondents, asking that they look at their first fingers and tell us how their ancestors spelled our surname. Understandably, in view of the other recent study on homosexuals and lesbians, all were quite sensitive to intrusive questions and provided information only upon receiving a firm committment that all data would be mainained in srictest confidence.

For those families in which the male 1st finger was shorter and the female 1st finger longer, there was a very high correlation with the spelling of the surname as Prentice.

However, interestingly, in those families in which the finger sizes were reversed as to males and females, there was a significant correlation with the spelling of the surname as Prentiss.

Finally, in those families in which the 1st finger sizes were a given size on one hand, but reversed on the other hand, there appeared to be a frequent spelling of the surname as Prentis.

For obvious reasons, we did not ask our correspondents to identify his or her sexual orientation, and it may be that the Prentis and Prentiss spelling variations were effective measures counteracting the hormonal differences mention above.

If you have any comments, we would enjoy hearing from you.  You may contact us at The Prentice Newsletter ..


  • References: The statistical material used in reporting our results can be viewed at Finger Length Study
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