Are you a super-vibrator?

The Sydney Morning Herald

July 18, 2011 – 11:40AM

A love of wearing linen or a weakness for the feeling of silk against skin may say more about you than you think.

A woman’s hormones affect her taste in fabrics and textures, according to a new study which found “estrogen-driven” women prefer animal fabrics such as wool, fur, leather and silk, while “testosterone-driven” females tend to choose vegetal fabrics such as cotton and linen. The research also found that men tend to be more sensitive than women to synthetic fabrics.

The study was conducted by Diana Derval, a market researcher who presented her findings at the Society for Behavioural Endocrinology’s recent annual meeting. Between April 2007 and February 2011, her firm, DervalResearch, studied the preferences of 3500 men and women from 25 countries. The subjects’ individual sensitivity to touch was measured, and they were interviewed about which fabrics they were drawn to and which ones they found irritating to touch.

Gender, ethnicity, and immune system all affect our perceptions of light touch, pressure, pain, cold, and vibrations. “Touch is a vibration. We identified different tactile profiles based on people’s perception of touch: non-vibrators, medium-vibrators, and super-vibrators,” Derval explains. “The super-vibrators are six times more sensitive to touch than others and clearly prefer to wear cotton to silk or wool.”

“Testosterone-driven” women are more likely to be super-vibrators or medium-vibrators. “Estrogen-driven” women, meanwhile, are more likely to be non-vibrators or medium-vibrators.

Derval acknowledges that hormone fluctuations throughout life can affect an individual’s tastes, but the study’s focus was the effect of prenatal hormone exposure. “We have identified eight gender polymorphisms among humans based on the prenatal influence of hormones – four in male and four in female,” Polymorphisms can be identified using gender, ethnicity, and “different biomarkers, including the digit ratio – the relative length of the index and ring fingers of the right hand,” Derval says.


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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.