A survey of academics at the University of Bath has found that male scientists typically have a level of the hormone oestrogen as high as their testosterone level.
These hormone levels are more usual in women than men, who normally have higher levels of testosterone.
The study draws on research which suggests that these unusual hormone levels in many male scientists cause the right side of their brains, which governs spatial and analytic skills, to develop strongly.
The study, which as been submitted to the British Journal of Psychology, also found that:
The study drew on work in the last few years which established that the levels of oestrogen and testosterone a person has can be seen in the relative length of their index (second) and ring (fourth) fingers. The ratio of the lengths is set before birth and remains the same throughout life.
The length of fingers is genetically linked to the sex hormones, and a person with an index finger shorter than the ring finger will have had more testosterone while in the womb, and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will have had more oestrogen. The difference in the lengths can be small as little as two or three per cent but important.
A survey of the finger lengths of over 100 male and female academics at the University by senior Psychology lecturer Dr Mark Brosnan has found that those men teaching hard science like mathematics and physics ten