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12 December 2005
Big Hands I Know Youíre The One
by Paul A.

I was in London recently, gazing upon a plaster rendition of Michelangeloís David at the Victoria and Albert Museum, when from behind I heard a woman remark to her husband. "Look at his hands, they're huge!" To which her husband quipped; "Yeah, his bride must have been in for a shock." What he meant, of course, is that big hands are supposed to indicate a large penis and David... well, ahem, let's just say that with him, there appears to be an inverse relationship.

Big nose - Big hose. Big feet - big meat. For centuries, in fact, probably ever since men started wearing loincloths, interested parties have sought some kind of visible indicator that would reliably predict the size of a man's penis. Feet and hands have traditionally been the most popular gauges. I've heard women talk in breathless tones about the size of a man's hands. In an episode of CSI, William Peterson's character bragged about his size 13 feet.

But now science has finally marched into the dim recesses where folklore and dirty rhymes had hitherto ruled. In 2001, an Italian urologist found a positive correlation between body size and penis size. Well, duh... big or small, people are roughly proportional. It's no surprise that Shaq can wrap his hands halfway around a basketball. He's seven feet tall! So there's a relationship between height and length. Why wouldn't there be? What inquiring minds want to know is once base body size is factored in, do big hands/nose/feet tell a woman what she can expect in the bedroom?

Once again science rushes to our rescue. In Oct 2002, the British Journal of Urology reported a study that found no correlation between penis size and shoe size. Suddenly, all the men around the world wearing size seven shoes breathed a sigh of relief. But then, mere weeks later, a study headed by Dr. Evangelos Spyropoulos from the Naval and Veterans Hospital of Athens found a statistically significant correlation between the length of a man's index finger and the length of his pecker. The aim of this study was ostensibly to help doctors counsel and treat men concerned about perceived inadequacies relating to their genitals. How this study was meant to achieve this end was not clearly laid out. "Yes, your penis is small, but now, thanks to our research, everyone will know it! That'll be $80."

Now, before you start wearing extra large gloves, or finally springing for that index finger enlargement surgery, it should be noted that these results are far from definitive. To begin with, the sample size was tiny, only 52 subjects and while, yes, there was a statistically significant correlation, there was no attempt to correlate the various bodily measurements with each other. In other words, big men with their big hands and big dicks were lumped in with small men, with their small hands and small dicks. In fact, whatís surprising about the study is that body size did not seem to correlate with penis size. And we've just seen from the much larger (3,000 men) Italian study that there is a correlation. Who to believe? It lookís like all you small dicked, small fingered men out there can relax, your secret is still safe. For now.

At a glance, it seems ridiculous that there should be a relationship between a man's hands and feet and his dick. Besides counting to 11, where's the connection? A foot's a foot. A dick's a dick. Right. Well, maybe yes and maybe no. It's long been established that the growth, number and position of various body parts is governed by a small number of whatís known as HOX genes. Mess with HOX genes and arms can grow out of your head. Geneticists had a lot of fun with fruit flies when this was first uncovered. All animals (well, vertebrates, anyway) have the same HOX genes or close analogues. The stability of the genes that code for five fingers on mammals, fish and reptiles dating back 350 million years has led scientists to speculate that there may be a genetic connection between fingers and genitalia. Basically, the theory goes: mess with the HOX - mess with the genitals - no offspring.

In recent years such connections have been confirmed. In humans, it's manifested in an abnormality known as "foxy feet", in which the thumb is smaller and drawn down towards the wrist - like a fox's, I would guess. This same phenotypical characteristic is associated with infertility. In less important animals, like mice that we can screw with, it was found that mutations in the hoxal 13 gene led to smaller digits and a deformed penis. Hmmm.

The factors governing digit and penis growth are complex and poorly understood. Hox genes act as switches, producing proteins that effectively shut down or initiate a specific developmental process - like growing your dick. There is speculation that the size of digits and dicks depends on the number of repeated codons (genetic units - like letters) along a specific stretch of DNA. The more codons, the bigger the fingers and other appendages. If this turns out to be true it might help explain why foot size and penis size arenít correlated. Itís the toes they should have been measuring!

But, no one really knows. The connection between digital and genital deformity is tenuous at best and while there may be a statistically significant correlation, that's all it is. Not every guy with hands like baseball gloves is sporting a dick to match. Look at David.

So for the woman at the bar seeking to maximize her pleasure with minimum fuss, there's not a lot to go on. Choosing partners is still a crapshoot. Hands, feet, nose, even the flaccid dick pushing at the fabric of his too-tight trousers, arenít terribly reliable indicators of what's going to pop-up when the lights go down. Maybe she should throw caution to the wind and just pick the guy she likes.

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