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Firm Grips Get More Sex Firm Grips Get More Sex

By Alastair Alexander

A limp handshake is rarely enjoyable, ranking somewhere alongside snogging a salmon for sheer entertainment value. Now a study of American undergraduates suggests that a limp handshake, or lack thereof, is linked to aggressiveness and sexual behaviour.

Using a group of 143 undergraduates from the University at Albany in
New York State, evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup and colleagues measured hand grip strength and asked their subjects to complete a survey on sexual and bullying behaviour. The team also measured anatomical variables linked to attractiveness – waist-to-shoulder ratio in men, and waist-to-hip ratio in women.

While it's taken as given that grip strength is linked to a man’s muscliness and physical condition, the study showed some other links. No correlation between grip strength and sexual or social behaviour was found for the women taking part, but the men with a strong grip showed clear differences.

According to the study, men with a hearty handshake started having sex earlier and were more aggressive during high school. Gordon Gallup points out that this behaviour shows attributes vital for passing on one's genes - asserting dominance and mating early.

So a firm handshake can reveal far more about a man than previously thought. Not only is his musculature in good shape, but he's likely to be more in touch with his primitive gene-spreading needs.

But before you go off and attempt to crush everyone's metacarpals into oblivion, just remember one thing. Too firm a handshake makes it look like you're trying too hard to prove yourself. No-one will be impressed.

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Image: Laura Kennedy

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