The ears are clearly one of the most visible parts of the face. The ears are also said to be a highly erogenous zone, as they are soft and have many nerve endings present, which makes them very sensitive. However, one aspect of these organs that help us in hearing is that there is little that can be done with them if there is a defect or an undesirable trait attached to them. Like, if a person has ears that stick out, there is no real treatment for it. Similarly, one peculiar trait that people may come across is that of attached earlobes. These are basically ears where the bottom part of the lobe is attached or connected directly to the side of the head. It does not hang freely as is seen in most cases. This is the part of the ear that is usually pierced, and where one usually wears earrings. There are all kinds of questions that have been raised about why a person has this kind of a trait and what it means. So, let's try and unravel some mysteries and myths attached to the harmless trait of an attached or connected earlobe.
Like any other physical feature of our body, the characteristics and appearance of the earlobes too are governed by our genetic composition. As is the case with other facial features like the widow's peak, the shape, structure and other such aspects of our earlobes are a result of interactions between various genes. In essence, the attached or free-hanging nature of the earlobes is a multifactorial trait that depends on more than one gene. It is not, as is commonly believed, a single gene recessive trait; it merely appears to be. On closer examination of the earlobes of various individuals, you may notice that it is sometimes hard to determine whether they are attached or free-hanging. This is due to the extreme variation present in the presentation of this physical feature. This variation is evident of the trait's multiple gene origins. Since, it is not a single gene trait, the exact inheritance pattern for this trait cannot be elucidated. In other words, the earlobe characteristics of the parents may or may not be exhibited in the offspring. the offspring may either share its appearance with either parent or present a structure that is midway between the parental phenotype. Hence, one cannot surmise precisely the type of earlobe that the offspring might exhibit, despite the knowledge of the parental phenotypic characters.
This observation has been supported by various studies that have been carried out in this regard. in these studies, there were multiple instances of children exhibiting different and varied phenotype of the earlobe irrespective of that exhibited by both parents. This can be simply explained in the following examples. If one considers the attached phenotype to be due to a single recessive trait, then the entire progeny would possess this trait only if both parents had attached earlobes. In any other scenario (if parents are homozygous or heterozygous for the trait), the majority of the progeny (at least 3 in 4) would not exhibit attached earlobes. But this is not the case, since it has been documented that parents with attached earlobes do produce offspring with free-hanging earlobes.
As much as people may want to assume that a person with an attached earlobe will have some kind of specific trait besides this physical one, they will come out disappointed. There have been many studies done which try and link a physical trait to a personality trait, like children born with teeth, which is known as natal teeth, will go onto become great rulers (it is claimed that Julius Ceaser and Napoleon Bonaparte both had natal teeth); however, all these studies are doubtful and many scientists say that they are based more on wishful thinking rather than actual scientific facts. Similarly, people claim that a person with an attached earlobe is more likely to not only become a criminal, but is also more likely to be promiscuous. However, as mentioned earlier, there is really no truth to this and the next time you find someone using his attached earlobe as an excuse to wriggle out of a tight spot, please do not pay any attention to his claim. There is really no occult meaning attached to an attached earlobe. This trait simply means that your earlobe is attached to your skin and is not left hanging freely.
In conclusion, this earlobe trait must not be mistakenly cited as an example of simple mendelian genetics, but should be clarified as to being dependent on multiple genes. Also, this trait is nothing more than a physical feature, and hence, is not associated or indicative of any aspect of behavior, personality, or nature of an individual. However, creasing along the edges of the ear have been found to be linked to genetic disorders like Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and other heart and coronary disorders. The distinctive diagonal crease on the lobe, called Frank's sign, is often indicative of diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. The creases might present from birth itself, or later develop as the individual ages and grows old.