Measure your index and ring fingers, base to tip. (Most of the studies used the right hand.) Divide the length of your index finger by the length of your ring finger to determine the digit ratio, or finger quotient (Fq). A longer ring finger results in an Fq of less than 1 and a more “masculine” hand shape.
Researchers have discovered that a quick study of the hands — more specifically, the lengths of the index and ring fingers — can tell a lot about a person’s personality and risk of disease. Of course, your digits don’t actually control these issues; it’s closer to the other way around.
In boys, “during fetal development there’s a surge in testosterone in the middle of the second trimester” that seems to influence future health and behavior, says Pete Hurd, a neuroscientist at the University of Alberta. One easy-to-spot result of this flood of testosterone: a ring finger that’s significantly longer than the index finger.
Scientists are not at the point where they can factor in finger length to arrive at a diagnosis, but they’ve gathered evidence that shows how this prenatal hormone imbalance can affect a person for life, from increasing or decreasing your risk of certain diseases, to predicting how easily you get lost or lose your temper.
Researchers continue to study what sparks these hormonal changes and have begun looking at environmental chemical exposure, stress levels and diet during pregnancy.
The human body is increasingly recognized as a biometric source of information for a wide spectrum of issues, including security, psychopathology, personality and health. Earlier we reported that job interviews might be replaced by brain scans within five years and denoted this news as a modern technological incarnation of occult palm reading. Now it turns out that palm reading itself has found a new incarnation – it’s in the ratio of your fingers.
John T. Manning, emeritus professor in psychology of the University of Central Lancashire and the University of Liverpool, has developed a new theory about how finger length relates to human biology and behavior.
A significant part of theory is focused on the so-called: ’digit ratio’, which concerns the full length ratio of only two fingers: index finger (2D) vs. ring finger (4D). In women the length of both fingers is usually about equal (2D:4D digit ratio = 1.00), while in men the ring finger is usually slightly longer (digit ratio = 0.98).
FINGER LENGTH & SOCIAL ABILITY
The researchers on brain scans showed they can predict tendencies towards autism, which is thought to be related to ‘hypermasculinity’ of the brains. The same is true for the ’digit ratio’: multiple international studies have revealed that people with autism usually have typical male-like finger length ratios (2D:4D < 0.94).
FINGER LENGTH & ATHLETIC ABILITY
Maybe less surprising, professor Manning found the typical male-like low digit ratio relates to athletic ability as well. Manning explains the link between finger length & athletic ability as follows:
“Our fingers have information about how much testosterone and how much estrogens we’ve been exposed to in the womb. So, the longer one’s ring finger relative to one’s index finger, the more testosterone you’ve had. And that testosterone has an effect on the brain, and on the body. If a boy has a large amount of testosterone before birth, he is likely to be born with a very efficient heart and vascular system.”
“So the longer one’s ring finger relative to one’s index finger, the faster one can run.”
The BBC’s “Secret of The Sexes” confronted the ‘finger Professor’ with six athletes – all 5000 meter specialists, and asked him to “predict” the outcome of the race based on finger length only. Actually, the BBC provided Manning photocopies of the athletes hands, and in return Professor Manning risked his reputation by providing the results of a race that had yet to be run.
The outcome of the experiment is unveiled “LIVE” in the video. And surprisingly… the theory appeared to be pretty accurate in practice. After Manning & the athletes are confronted with the results Manning summarizes:
“… We’ve got four out of six right, but the two that are wrong were kind a quite close.”
The winner of the 5000 meter race responds: “I thought… that finger thing is bullocks because there are so many variables… I am very impressed”.
Manning’s theory was also confirmed by the results of various studies e.g. on endurance running & sprinting speed. And in another likewise experiment finger length correctly predicted the outcome of a 100 meters race with 5 young sprinters.
FINGER LENGTH & OTHER LIFE ISSUES
In his second book – titled ‘The Finger Book‘ – Professor Manning explains that because of the prenatal link with the androgens (testosterone & estrogen), finger length studies have generally shown consequent sensible correlations with a rainbow of life issue.
The tiny sex difference appears to be highly revealing, for hundreds of studies the ’2D:4D digit ratio’ appears to correlate with a wide range of topics that are usually also known for a typical male-female difference, including: musical ability, personality, health.
How Do You Measure Up?
Increased verbal aggression Fq < 1
The shorter your index finger, the sharper your tongue: In both men and women, a lower Fq can predict more verbal sparring.
Improved athletic ability Fq < 1
A greater surge of prenatal testosterone can be an indicator of high levels of achievement in sports, as well as a mental toughness in athletics. In one study, college varsity athletes (male and female) were found to have shorter index fingers than other students.
Improved sense of direction Fq < 1
In women, a more masculine digit ratio tends to predict a better sense of direction, backing up past research that found men tend to have better spatial cognition than women.
More physical aggression Fq < 1
Men with shorter index fingers are more likely to pick fights. Women with the same hand shape are more likely to react with aggression after being provoked.
More risk taking Fq < 1
Men who experience a higher surge of prenatal testosterone, and thus have longer ring fingers, tend to be risk takers. One example: The most successful financial traders tend to have the longest fourth fingers. These behavior patterns seem to apply only to men.
An index finger that’s shorter than the ring finger can be a sign of knee osteoarthritis risk, particularly in women, compared with people whose fingers are equal lengths, or who have a longer index finger.
Increased risk of oral cancer* Fq > 1
A high digit ratio — those with very little difference between the index and ring finger, or with a longer index finger — was found among men with oral cancer, compared with men with pre-cancerous oral lesions or no lesions, according to one all-male study.
Men with long index fingers and shorter ring fingers have a 33 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer. If they’re younger than 60, the risk is even less — 87 percent