Teenage girls hiding hands

As an ex teacher, it alays used to puzzle me to see teenage girls walk around with their jersies/cardigans pulled over their hands as if to hide them. This seems to be universal in several countries, but boys, preteen girls and older women don’t seem to do this.

Has anyone else noticed this (or do I need to get out more?). Any female posters did this when they were younger? Was it cold hands, shyness or something else?

I’ve noticed that too. In fact I asked my wife why she used to do it and she said her hands got very cold periodically so it was a way to warm them up.

I don’t know about the height of the girls in which you’ve noticed this behavior, but as a fairly petite woman, I’ve always been at a loss as to what to do with too-long sleeves (even if you buy petite clothing, it’s often too long in the sleeves).

As a teen, you don’t want to destroy the “look” (or the clothing) by rolling/pushing up the sleeves, so you pull them down over your hands…which has the added effect of making you look as though you’re swimming in your clothing, which makes the average teenage girl think, “Wow, I look smaller/thinner!”. Highly desirable, in other words.

Just my $.02 on the subject. This is why I always wear short sleeves, unless I’m unbearably cold.

Now, I’ve always wondered why boys/young men have the odd habit of sticking a hand in their shirts and feeling around…are they afraid their nipples have run away?

Peer pressure, along with an unhealthy dose to “fit in” with the crowd. If you don’t, teenage girls can be really nasty to each other.

I always thought they were hiding guns or knives or something in there.

Herbie! Come Back!

From memory, I did it because I was cold.

Now I’m older, I rarely wear shirts that have sleeves long and loose enough for me to do it comfortably.

Cold is the only reason I can think of. I sure as hell couldn’t have cared less if rolling sleeves ruined the “look” of my clothes, and I wouldn’t have done it to look cool because I never did anything in order to look cool. I was no fan of the “popular” girls and in fact strived to be very different from them. They all looked the same at my school - same hair, same clothes, same mannerisms.

I still do it. Sometimes just because the sleeves are too long and I haven’t bothered to do anything about it, but often because my hands are cold. In fact, I’m wishing I had sleeves I could pull down now. Though that would make typing difficult.

I do it mainly because my hands get cold and also a little out of habit.

I’m a guy and I do it occasionally if I have on a sweater.


This is where you wish you could remember all that stuff you were made to learn so thoroughly back in high school.

Once, in those biology lessons long ago, I was taught that slightly differences in the bloodstream and circulation between males and females meant that women often felt the cold more in their extremities (mainly hands).

It’s probably that coupled with shyness - I think those are the same reasons most teenage boys (in my area, anyway) keep their hands buried deep in their pockets the whole time.

My mom hated the way I’d stretch my long sleeves over my hands.

I was told that young women (say 16-26 – my guess, I don’t actually remember) tend to have slightly low blood pressure and that this partly explained why we always felt a tad bit cold and why we can wash dishes with VERY hot water that guys seem too wimpy to handle.

For me, it had nothing to do with hiding them. Just keeping them toasty in an air conditioned school.

If memory serves me correctly, I think that I did that because I was shy, and didn’t really know what to do with my hands.

Often when I am in a situation even now, that I’m not comfortable in, I need to be doing SOMETHING with my hands. I honestly think that’s why I smoke now, and why I sometimes drink too much when I go to the bars. I get nervous and end up tipping up the bottle too often (hence, I am drinking too much).

I hardly ever do the hands-in-the-sleeves thing now though, because I think that makes it stand out MORE that I don’t know what to do with my hands. :slight_smile:

Is that answer complicated enough, or what? haha


I am a guy and I couldn’t tell you why some of us do it. I have done it before, but it’s not a regular thing.

One theory I have (off the top of my head) is stimulation of an erogenous zone. I never really thought of it that way, but you know, it kind of feels good. And, unlike women’s nipples, few people associate men’s nipples very stongly with pleasure. I mean, perhaps they are a bit, but it is not as obvious to people I think.

Just a theory, I don’t know if it is right.

I’m of the school of thought that the primary reason women seem to feel cold at higher temperatures than men is primarily due to differences in the ratio of body surface area to body volume. If I may preach for a moment…

Like most engines, our bodies are constantly producing heat. To feel comfortable, we have to shed this excess heat, usually into the air around us. But, you can only shed as much heat into the air as your skin will allow. Men are, generally, larger and heavier than women, but the skin surface areas of members of each gender are pretty comparable. All this extra volume in us males produces extra heat, but we don’t really have much more skin with which to push it out. If the air is colder, our skin has an easier time shedding the heat. Thus, we males feel more comfortable at lower temperatures than women.

And from this foundation springs all sorts of intergender spats and misunderstandings, including the mystery of the sweater over the hands. I’m sure it’s just a coldness thing, women trying to get by at the temperature we fellas find comfy.

Then again, maybe the women are all just trying to imitate Jennifer Love Hewitt on Party of Five. Covering her hands with her sweater-sleeves was one of the only things she did well, and on that show she played it to the bone.

I really don’t think this has much (if anything) to do with peer pressure. Although a lot of a teenage girls life is influenced by peer pressure, I strongly doubt that this is.

I (a teenage girl) do this occasionally because my hands get cold.

Another possible reason that girls, more than boys, do this is that often boys have pockets on their pants which they can easily put their hands into if they are cold. Girls do have pockets, but likely as not they are small and hard to get into due to the tightness of the pants.

Sitting here reading this thread at my desk at work I just realized that this is one of my -isms. I really never paid much attention to it before, but I glanced down to see if the shirt I have on would be suitable for hands-hiding, and I discovered that I was already doing it with the hand that wasn’t manning the mouse. For me it appears to be an issue of warmth/comfort (maybe something akin to others who twist/play with their hair). It’s interesting to me that I’m doing, subconsciously, one of those “cutesy” behaviors that I abhor in silly teenagers - and I’m 27. :eek:

i was under the impression that jennifer love hewitt started the trend back in her party of five days.

I can think of a slew of reasons why teenage boys keep their hands deep in their pockets, but one main reason stands out.

Being a teenage boy, I have a few reasons why I do some of these things.

I occasionally put my hands in my pockets just to do something with them - jingle change, roll a lipchap container betwixt my fingers. I also do it to ‘look cool’. Rarely are my hands cold when I do it. My school’s and toasty.

Why I grope myself in my shirt… well, this is probably not the reason why most guys do it, but it’s fun! I mean, I have little hairs to fiddle with, and it kinda tickles, too.