These are interesting enough on their own, but read closely and you’ll find two gems of psychosexual trivia buried within: First, that individual placement on the Bem Sex Role Inventory is implicitly correlated to prenatal androgen levels (the kind that influence your finger digit ratio), and Second, that the guy who did the research on gender differences in abstract visuo-spatial rotation ability is fucking Sacha Baron Cohen’s cousin. Too wild.
The former revelation is significant and self-explanatory. If placement on the BSRI is directly correlated to levels of prenatal androgen exposure, then historical trends in the diets and lifestyles of pregnant women may have a demonstrable impact on the future gender identities of their offspring. While “status”, in all it’s amorphous notoriety, has been shown to have a causal effect on testosterone levels in the past, it would be interesting to see a paper come forward demonstrating a prenatal physiological basis for changing trends in gender norms.
As for the second, Baron Cohen’s research – particularly his work on the “extreme male brain” theory of autism – goes a long way to substantiating the “male/female, left/right brain” theories, which go a long way to substantiating the “imminent collapse of labor efficiency and, by proxy, western civilization” theories. To the lay reader, I’ll point out that this is an implicit indictment of competing value systems, rather than any statement of support for innate gender-based efficacy.
Personally, I’d be more interested in seeing studies relating lower levels of prenatal androgen to increased social acuity and emotional intelligence. Even more gripping would be an exploration of current testosterone levels on current placement on the Bem scale. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, read by a physiological determinist. There is no self. My ring finger is so long it hurts.