Finger Length Helps Predict Test Exam Results, Homosexuality, Cancer, Musical Ability and Aggressive Personality -- Study Shows
Your finger length can predict how you will do on various tests in school. They can also tell if you are likely to be homosexual or straight, if you will likely get certain cancers, be a musician, writer or a scientist, or if you will have an aggresssive or passive personality.The two fingers that are important are the index finger -- the one you use to point to something -- and the ring finger.
Reading, writing and arithmetic...
In a recent study from the help of online universities, the results of mathematics and literacy (reading) tests for seven-year-old children could be predicted by measuring the length of these two fingers.
In a study to be published in the British Journal of Psychology, scientists compared the finger lengths of 75 children with their Standardised Assessment Test (SAT) scores. They found a clear link between a child's performance in numeracy and literacy tests and the relative lengths of their index (pointing) and ring fingers.
Scientists believe that the link is caused by different levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen in the womb -- and the effect they have on both brain development and finger length. This is nothing new, since scientists have known for many years that elevated levels of testosterone -- or other hormones closely resembling testosterone -- can cause the brains of both males and females to be more "masculine."
It has long been known that boys tend to do better on math tests while girls do better at writing, reading and verbal tests.
"Testosterone has been argued to promote development of the areas of the brain which are often associated with spatial and mathematical skills," said Dr Mark Brosnan, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, who led the study.
"Estrogen is thought to do the same in the areas of the brain which are often associated with verbal ability. "Interestingly, these hormones are also thought have a say in the relative lengths of our index and ring fingers.
"We can use measurements of these fingers as a way of gauging the relative exposure to these two hormones in the womb and as we have shown through this study, we can also use them to predict ability in the key areas of numeracy and literacy."
How they did the research
The researchers made photocopies of the palm of the children's hands and then measured the length of their index finger and ring finger on both hands using callipers, accurate to 0.01mm. They then divided the length of the index finger by that of the ring finger -- to calculate the child's digit ratio.
When they compared this ratio to the children's SAT scores, they found that a smaller ratio (i.e. a longer ring finger and therefore greater prenatal exposure to testosterone) meant a larger difference between ability in maths and literacy, favouring math skills relative to reading and speaking skills.
When they looked at boy's and girl's performance separately, the researchers found a clear link between high prenatal testosterone exposure, as measured by digit ratio, and higher numeracy SAT scores in males.
Previously, researchers have found a link between index and ring finger lengths and homosexuality (see article in viewzone.)
They also found a link between low prenatal testosterone exposure, which resulted in a shorter ring finger compared with the index finger, and higher literacy SAT scores for girls.
This, says the scientists behind the study, suggests that measurements of finger length could help predict how well children will do in maths and literacy.
"We're not suggesting that finger length measurements could replace SAT tests," said Dr Brosnan.
"Finger ratio provides us with an interesting insight into our innate abilities in key cognitive areas.
"We are also looking at how digit ratio relates to other behavioural issues, such as technophobia [fear of science], and career paths.
There is also interest in using digit ratio to identify homosexuality, developmental disorders, such as dyslexia, which can be defined in terms of literacy deficiencies, and aggressive vs. passive personalitity traits.
Other interesting observations about finger length:
Bodily characteristics that develop in distinctly masculine and feminine ways are usually the product of sex hormones. Some features differentiate at puberty, such as breasts, muscle development and jaws. But other sex differences are already set by the time we're born, relative finger lengths among them, and seem to be the result of fetal androgens (hormones such as testosterone or related hormones) masculinising the males. some of those hormones come from fetal testes and adrenal glands, the rest make it across the placenta from the blood of the mother. But exactly how much comes from whom -- and what alters the balance -- are still not entirely understood.
"Prenatal development is a black box," says John Manning of the University of Liverpool. He is one of a small number of scientists beginning to wonder if fingers could be used as a way of peering into that "box."
Finger lengths may predict cancer!
In a paper just published in the journal Medical Hypotheses (vol. 54, p 855), Manning highlights conditions such as heart disease, breast cancer, autism and dyslexia. Both heart disease (in men) and breast cancer have been linked with high levels of the female hormones Eestrogen and Progesterone. Most of the studies of this link have looked at circulating levels in the adult, but evidence is mounting that too much of the wrong hormone in the womb, before birth, may be the real culprit.
Oimitrios Tricopouos, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, proposed a decade ago that breast cancer may originate in the uterus of the mother (The Lancet, vol. 335, p 939). He suggested that high concentrations of estrogen may create a "fertile soil" for cancer to develop later in life. He also thought that variability in estrogen levels during pregnancy may help to explain why breast cancer rates are generally higher in women born to Caucasian mothers compared with those born to Oriental or younger mothers. Recently he and his colleague Karin Michels showed that high birth weight in girls-another sign of high prenatal estrogen levels-was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
If high estrogen levels are indeed to blame, Manning thinks that high 2D (see illustration) ratios could be used to identify women who are at increased risk of breast cancer. "I don't know of other sexually dimorphic traits that are so stable," he says. "That's what makes it so exciting." He interviewed 118 women in a breast cancer clinic, measured their finger lengths and noted how old they were when the first tumour appeared. "It was earlier if there was a higher ratio," he says.
Finger length linked to left-handedness!
The developing brain is also sensitive to hormones in utero. Knowing this, Norman Geschwind and his graduate student Albert Galaburda, now at Harvard Medical School, made a controversial claim in 1985. They suggested that prenatal testosterone slows the growth of certain areas of the left hemisphere and facilitates the growth of corresponding regions of the right hemisphere. At the time they wondered whether testosterone was partly to blame for such things as left-handedness, dyslexia and autism (Archives of Neurology, vol43,p 428).
Galaburda and his colleagues have since developed a way to induce selective brain damage to the frontal lobe of newborn rats to mimic some of the symptoms of dyslexia. Curiously, while male rats with this kind of damage have trouble responding to rapidly changing sounds -- much like dyslexic humans -- females don't. "We induce the malformations in males and females," he says, "but only the males have trouble."
It is clear that there is a "genetic component" to dyslexia. But Galaburda thinks fetal testosterone plays a role too by reducing plasticity in the young brain, making males, susceptible to brain malformations that females manage to overcome.
Intriguingly, when female rats are given extra testosterone, they too show signs of dyslexia.
Ratios of 2nd digit (index finger) to 4th digit (ring finger).
Manning hasn't yet checked the finger lengths of human dyslexics to see whether they also point to a testosterone link. But he has already checked out the left-handed idea, using a dexterity test. People are not always straightforwardly right or left- handed: many have been trained to use their right hand for writing, even if they are more skilled with the left. So Manning and his colleagues tested how quickly 285 children could move 10 pegs from one row of holes to another row five inches away, using one or the other hand.
Children with low 2D:4D ratios (see illustration) are believed to have high exposure to testosterone in the womb and are more likely to be quicker with their left hands than the kids with higher ratios. This, he says, suggests that our degree of left-handedness (and more generally the way the brain divides up tasks between left and right hemispheres) may be influenced by hormone levels in the womb.
Finger Length & Autism
Manning has begun examining autism too. He teamed up with Simon Baron- Cohen and Svetlana Lutchmaya from the University of Cambridge, who have used samples of amniotic fluid to directly measure the levels of hormones that babies are exposed to in the womb. When the children reached their first birthday, the researchers measured their vocabularies and ability to make eye contact. Poor language skills and an unwillingness to make eye contact are early hallmarks of autism. They found that babies who'd been exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb fared the worst.
"What we're hoping to look at is whether finger ratios can be used as a proxy for hormones," says Lutchmaya. Amniocentesis (sampling the amniotic fluic surrounding the unborn baby) is a risky procedure that only a few mothers choose to undergo, she says. But by measuring finger lengths instead, researchers can assess a random sample of children for possible early signs of impaired language and social skill development. Currently, they are checking the fingers of children for whom they have amniotic samples.
Meanwhile, Manning and Baron-Cohen have looked at the finger ratios of 49 children with firm diagnoses of autism, 23 with a mild form of the disorder called Asperger's syndrome, and their families. The researchers found that autistic children tended to have very low 2D:4D ratios (see illustration). Interestingly, children with Asperger's syndrome had ratios that fell between those of autistics and unaffected children. "It fits exceptionally well with the theory," says Manning.
Clearly genes play a role too in these conditions. But could fetal hormone levels explain other cognitive differences between the sexes? Janel Tortorice at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, thinks they may. She has measured finger ratios in 2D:4D ratio (see illustration) gay women and found that their hands were significantly different from those of heterosexual women-in fact, they tend to resemble those of heterosexual men.
But she has also found differences in the way these women's brains work. "They have more masculine fingers and more masculine cognition," she says. On tests of spatial and verbal ability, lesbian volunteers perform more like men than heterosexual women, she says. If this can be confirmed by further studies, perhaps Manning's most recent suggestion is not as outrageous as it sounds. He claims that musical talent, too, is nurtured in the womb.
Finger lengths foretell musical ability!
Manning recruited 54 male musicians from a British symphony orchestra. He discovered that these men had significantly lower 2D:4D ratios than controls -- they had a very "masculine" ratio. Even more striking, when he compared the top-ranked "first" musicians with their lower-ranked colleagues -- a measure of their relative ability-the former had significantly lower 2D:4D ratios. Could testosterone really predispose the brain to be more tuned in to music? Manning thinks so.
Musicians with short ring fingers and lesbians with long index fingers needn't lose heart, however. Even if fingers win a place in the pantheon of diagnostic medicine, it's unlikely that prospective employers or partners will ever be able to predict our fortunes from our hands. Tortorice reminds us that males tend to be taller than females. "But," she says; "we don't use height to determine whether you're a man or a woman."
How well does this apply to YOUR fingers? We'd like to know.
Hormone That Affects Finger Length Key To Social Behavior
According to a report in ScienceDaily, research at the universities of Liverpool and Oxford into the finger length of primate species has revealed that cooperative behavior is linked to exposure to hormone levels in the womb.
The hormones, called androgens, are important in the development of masculine characteristics such as aggression and strength. It is also thought that prenatal androgens affect finger length during development in the womb. High levels of androgens, such as testosterone, increase the length of the fourth finger in comparison to the second finger. Scientists used finger ratios as an indicator of the levels of exposure to the hormone and compared this data with social behaviour in primate groups.
The team found that Old World monkeys, such as baboons and rhesus macaques, have a longer fourth finger in comparison to the second finger, which suggests that they have been exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens. These species tend to be highly competitive and promiscuous, which suggests that exposure to a lot of androgens before birth could be linked to the expression of this behaviour.
Other species, such as gibbons and many New World species, have digit ratios that suggest low levels of prenatal androgen exposure. These species were monogamous and less competitive than Old World monkeys.
The results show that Great Apes, such as orangutans and chimpanzees, expressed a different finger ratio. The analysis suggests that early androgen exposure is lower in this groups compared to Old World monkeys. Lower androgen levels could help explain why Great Apes show high levels of male cooperation and tolerance.
Emma Nelson, from the University of Liverpool's School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, explains: "It is thought that prenatal androgens affect the genes responsible for the development of fingers, toes and the reproductive system. High androgen levels from a foetus or mother during pregnancy, may alter gene function and lead to subtle changes in relative digit length and the functioning of the reproductive system. Finger ratios do not change very much after birth and appear to tell us something about how very early androgens affect adult behaviour, particularly behaviour linked to mating and reproduction."
Dr Susanne Shultz, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, said: "Humans are unique in that they live in large multi-male, multi-female groups, but maintain strong bonds and show high levels of group cooperation in both males and females. In most other species males are competitive rather than co-operative. Research from finger ratios may help us understand more clearly the development of human sociality and its evolutionary origins."
This research, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, is supported by the British Academy Centenary Research Project, Lucy to Language -- a multi-disciplinary project that aims to understand the complexities of human social evolution.
See also: Finger length & homosexuality
Comments & reports from readers about finger lengths:
I am 21, born male, heterosexual and l have been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. I also am quite musical and can pretty much play anything on piano just by hearing it. According to all of that, my ring fingers should be longer. But actually my index fingers are quite a bit longer.
Now here's the interesting part: even though I'm not gay, I have always felt like I'm actually a girl. Ever since I was young I acted girly, I used to play with dolls and only had female friends etc. You could pretty much say I'm a (feminine) lesbian woman born in the body of a man.
This means my finger length actually does make sense: I'm as feminine as a homosexual man, just without the part of being homosexual.
Thanks for the interesting article
I enjoyed reading this will put it to the test in my observation of some I know. Im married happily, hetro and left handed my index is shorter than my wedding ring finger and I have been interested in science all my life and now an engineer. I have adhd and mildly dyslexic . Good in math very quick thinker horrible in spelling but have been told my handwriting looks like art as being left-handed I struggled when younger but at puberty I became more disiplined.
I am a 32yr old female with a longer ring finger on both hands, a simian line on my right hand and a "hammer thumb" on my right hand and I'm a lesbian. Also, I begin as a left handed person but was pushed in school to use my right hand because it was easier for the teachers to instruct me in various ways that required the use of my hands. I have often wondered about the possibility of the correlation of these things and how they apply to me. I have been told many times that I think and act like a man and admit that I often entertain the idea and of wanting to be a male. In fact more often than not I would prefer to be a male. Along with gender and sexuality I have been told that I exhibit autistic/asperburger type behaviors, I have social anxiety, and was diagnosed with A.D.D. when I was a kid but my mom refused using medication to treat me and diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when I was 17. So given all these things and the information that is available regarding physiological oddities on an individual scale I would love to know more regarding what the potential of combinations could mean.
I did find this article interesting and informative but I have yet to find anything that discusses any research or consideration for multiple characteristics and if anyone has and can point me that direction I would greatly appreciate it!
My ring fingers are significantly longer than my index fingers. I am female, hetero, systems and software engineer, talented in music and art. I was reading at a post-grad level in the 5th grade. I am lousy at math, but excellent with logic. My kid used to call me Renaissance Woman - presumably, because both sides of my brain are generally in concert? In any case, I'm the 'alpha female'. I have usually ended up in management positions whether I wanted to or not - probably because I'm far more assertive than most women. I'm less socially-oriented than most, and generally prefer male companionship. I also have Ehlers-Danlos, so I am tall and have longer fingers and limbs than most people do.
My thinking is that perhaps I was exposed to more male hormone prenatally, but being female, my brain has been pretty much bathed in estrogen ever since. So much so, that I had to be treated for the crazy high estrogen levels at one time. (Anybody who thinks estrogen makes you 'softer' somehow has never been totally slammed with the stuff, lol. Women with PMS are NOT known for their shrinking violet characteristics!)
Those facts are what have me thinking that gender and post-natal conditions could introduce a whole layer of variables which we would naturally adapt to (or even use for adaptive skills) as we grow and learn. When I look at the other comments, I see that others like me are not all gay or bi, but look how many of us women ended up in engineering professions! I know people think that's all math and spatial relationships...but at its best, engineering of all types is highly creative and downright artistic. It has just as much to do with the ability to integrate disparate data and a high level of intuition as anything logical or mathematical. Curiously, they often require Systems Engineering majors to study Systems Analysis - but that's a field that can't actually be taught. Either your brain works that way, or it doesn't. I have been, and had the opportunity to speak with, some of the top Systems Analysts in the world - and we all agree. it requires very visual thinking to take a complex system and reduce it to a clean business solution, and all you can really teach people is how to read the pictures we make when we are done. And LOTS of us are musically-inclined, whether male or female. So...maybe this is some of what happens when we get hit with strong opposite-sex hormones? We...integrate more...become sort of ambi-brained? Not a bad deal. I sure wouldn't trade it for anything.
Cool Article! Makes me want to find pictures of hands of people I admire, such as Bucky Fuller and Leonardo da Vinci.
I am a woman and I have always thought I was a very strong person. Some have even called me aggressive although I'm not. I'm in my later years of life and a few health issues have arisen which saw the testing of my testosterone levels. The norm for women is a score of 2 but mine were 6. I'm not homosexual but the results did shed some light on why I have facial hair and why I've "felt" as if I were a male -- I just have high testosterone levels. I also have a slightly longer ring finger compared with my index finger. There is a book titled "BrainSex" which looks at this too particularly how small the variation can be and still produce a very large behavioral effect, but it's the first time I've come across the length of index to ring finger indicator. I like to learn new things so I've enjoyed this little journey. Thanks. Sonja
I am a 48 year old left-handed person born female with ring fingers longer than index. I believe I am an Asberger's, I have a genius level IQ, I tested in the 94th percentile in California public schools assessment in the 1960's and attended gifted programs throughout school, but dropped out of school at age 15. I was diagnosed hyperactive as a child, and believe I have slight dyslexic tendencies.
I have never slept with a man, was socialized to believe I am a lesbian, but actually feel the only thing female about me is the body I was accidentally born in and the way the world has treated me because of it. My wife of ten years and the last several long term relationships before that were with women who had never been with a woman before. I have not worn women's clothing since 2nd grade and live my life as a man.
I am now an attorney, have always had the musical ability to pick out any melody on any stringed instrument and can carry a tune vocally. I struggle with learning languages and with traditional math, but have developed my own workaround methods that arrive at the correct answers. I am comfortable with writing and conveying emotions with words.
The knowledge that this trait is formed while in uterus should be widely disseminated, to stop those who would say what we are is by "choice" and therefore somehow a willful disobedience of social norms. Life for me is a mirror image of the norm, down to my right hand gesturing when I discuss signing my name, perhaps the only task reserved exclusively for my left hand.
Thanks for this research~
Hello, I am female with longer ring fingers. I used to score in the top 3% of persons writing elite math competitions (probably representing top 0.05% in society), and I score in the top 0.1% for spatial relations. I even legitimately found a mistake in special relations test once. My High School Principal told my friends to take home economics and told me they’d never seen scores like that for a girl and that I should become an engineer. I can drive and park a car like a man, (no offense to all of my girlfriends). At quite high driving speeds I can navigate very tight spots accurately- freaks passengers right out! As early as kindergarten, my report cards commented that I had an advanced sense of rhythm. I excel at high co-ordination sports. I naturally shuffle cards left-handed, was placed in center type positions in sports and am very good at the visual arts, including sculpture. I put on muscle easily and have narrow hips with a smaller than average bust. I am competitive and can be assertive. I have been properly diagnosed with ADD, (electric impulses/waves were tested as I fell asleep in a clinic?). I never experienced any difficulty with language and enjoyed marks in the top 10%, (but that is obviously lower than my math/spatial scores). I am heterosexual and cannot stand ultra-feminine traits in the males I date. I am attracted to broader shoulders, lean hips and a low body fat and do not enjoy when they cannot keep up with me physically, (both for reasons of compatibility and attraction- they must drive at least as well as me also). I love adventurous outdoor activities- wow now I’m starting to sound like I’m on a dating website! Almost all of my female friends grew up with at least one brother and I cannot stand the catty office girl types who only talk about their home-life and others- usually while whining. I’ve been saying for years something was up with testosterone- and along comes your article- go figure!
i am a 28 year old female. i have a female hand pattern. my index finger is a few mm longer than my ring finger and the same on both hands. i am very good at learning languages but loose them quickly if i dont practice/use it. but pick it up alot faster the next time. i have the ability to analyse things well and i see the 'big picture' easily. i am creative, experimental, good with spatial activities but really bad at maths, infact i think i might have dyscalculia (mathematically dyslexic) i'm good at poetry and expressing emotion. i'm good at controlling my emotions in a scary/dangerous situation and have led many people/animals out of danger. but cannot handle a very emotional discussion/argument without crying or shivvering with anger. i have a son who seems left handed. i have been told to make him use his right, but i have ignored those comments. my husband and i were both ambidexterous when we were younger. he is still left handed with many physical activities. he has a typically masculine hand pattern. very mathematically minded, spatially orientated, does tend to hold emotions in, letting thm out about 5/6 times a year when it gets too much for him. fertility wise we struggled for 4 years to fall pregnant with John. i ovulate regularly, his sperm has good mobility and direction, healthy ammount but morphologically not normal - but i think that has to do with him being a diesel mechanic and working with such harsh chemicals from day to day. while i was pregnant with our son i noticed that his hand, at 15 weeks pregnant, showed a masculine finger pattern and was therefore sure i was having a boy, which was confirmed at our 20 week scan. but i also noticed extra hair growth and some hormonal acne in places i never had before like on my back and chest as well as places on my face where my husband and brothers had acne while growing up. this also led to the idea i was carying a boy. this started at about 10 weeks into pregnancy. after the birth the hair literally fell out after about the second - fourth month and the acne stopped almost immidiately after the genitals had developed inutero. but stopped completely about a month after the birth overall i seem more right brained, but have many left brain qualities as well.
thank you, this was interesting to read.
I'm a woman and my ring finger is longer than my index finger. I'm heterosexual, but have ADD. Socially, I'm more like a guy in that I only get together with other people to do sporting activities rather than for social contact. I think I'm feminine, but I really do fit the tomboy stereotype. I hate math, but I'm very artistic. Although I'm right handed, both my sister and one of my daughters are left handed.
Both my daughter's have done quite well in math. My oldest daughter is less "girly" than most and both she and I have had a late puberty. I need to check their hands when I see them next!
I am a female twin - I shared the womb with my twin brother (who, incidentally, displays many characteristics of Aspergers syndrome), so guess I may have been exposed to more prenatal testosterone than normal. My ring finger is considerably longer than the index finger, on both hands. I was always very good at maths, and have a very spatiallly orientated brain in that I have a good sense of direction and can handle map reading better than most men I know! I like writing also, but I was conscious that I had to work harder at it around adolescence, in comparison to the maths (which came easily to me). I play the piano to a high level and have been singing since I was a small child. I also paint, draw and make models (using cake and icing) - which I think ties in with the spatial part, and I studied science at university. I went to all girls school but never felt that I fit in properly, and felt much happier and balanced when I went to university.
I have a very feminine shape (waist to hip ratio of only 0.68), I'm very sociable, and have never had any lesbian or bisexual interests. However, I've never thought of myself as a 'girly' girl, and preferred doing boys' stuff as a child like climbing trees and making dens - though am as interested in clothes and make-up these days as the next woman. I would say I'm more assertive, adventurous and risk-taking than many other women, and more interested in worldly topics and current affairs, which I think are more masculine qualities.
I would say that my prenatal testosterone seemed to have the biggest effect on me at puberty - around the age of 12 and 13. Around this time I was very competitive (academically and musically), not as sociable as I am now, or had been as a younger child, and was doing extremely well at maths and science compared to my peers. I was also affected with very troublesome acne on my skin, and my hair became wirey and coarse, but this calmed down a few years later. No-one else in my family had suffered with acne, and my twin-brother barely got a spot on his face throughout his teens! (Possibly thanks to some prenatal oestrogen from me).
Interestingly, I have the feminine finger-length pattern you have described and am a gay man without any significant tint of bisexuality. When I first looked at my left hand with regard to similar articles I had read, I noticed the similarity in the lengths of my 2nd and 4th digits. However, upon closer inspection of the right hand, the difference is more marked and the index finger is definitely longer.
I am fairly artistic in ability and disposition, having been a professional artist for many years. Arithmetic is not a very strong point of mine but neither is sociability a strong point. I was fairly effeminate as a kid and in my youth, but of course these traits can be disguised (to some extent) as you grow up in response to peer ridicule etc.
It is interesting also to note in at least some of these posted comments, that these physical traits are not always cast iron indicators of people’s abilities, traits or sexuality.
I would hate to think that you could try and bully somebody into ‘admitting’ they’re gay just based purely on the length of their fingers!?!
P.S. - Contrary to some articles I’ve read about sexual orientation, digit length, and older brothers, - I haven’t got the older brothers that some studies would predict. Some studies suggest that a gay eldest son will have indistinguishable finger length patterns from heterosexuals. - not so apparently.
Hi, I found your article via a google search, and wanted to share:
I'm a bisexual female with a low 2d:4d ratio. I have a natural inclination for reading music & playing instruments, but I also am slightly tone-deaf. I have strong verbal & language skills, and struggled in math and science in high school, but have become quite talented in both areas in college. I did not take the SAT, but my ACT scores in english, math, and science were 34, 26, and 23, respectively. I'm right handed and artistically inclined, but "left-bodied" at some things. I am in college now, and I am studying art.
I was in the gifted program in high school, but as an adult I've become aware that I also probably fall on the autistic spectrum. I don't have enough significant impairment in communication or language to warrant an Aspergers diagnosis, despite the fact that I have a hard time reading social cues, and think in picture-language (kind of like watching a filmstrip in slow-motion). I wonder if AS women - especially those of us with high intelligence - might be able to mask our condition with strong social mimicking skills. I wonder if simply being raised female - with value placed on cooperative behavior and social skills - might be a form of autism therapy, in itself.
I am a straight female with index fingers longer than my ring fingers. I am right handed, not autistic or dyslexic. I have strong math skills but I'm also artistic and an accomplished pianist. I am a breast cancer surviror. Interesting!
Hi there I'm a 20 year old female with the index finger visibly shorter than the ring fingers on both hands. I'm pansexual but have masculine or male traits and attitudes despite having a very feminine body (hourglass). I'm right handed and very artistic, in fact I work as an apprentice Florist in my city having failed to become an animator due to competition (since I'm Bipolar I have emotional difficulties when competing with others). I hate watching sports but love playing them but have little athletic ability. I love music but am partially tone deaf. I appreciate the little things in life, but can't survive without technology. While I'm a mostly artistic person I am very technically inclined, but can't do math to save my life. My grades throughout high school were 85 averages in most things but barley passing in math. I also suffer from ADHD, RMI (?), Chronic/Manic Depression, and Compulsion. I have a somewhat mixed personality and can change my perspective on things at random. Needless to say your article is very interesting and has captivated me and it does confirm and explain some things, while others remain a mystery. Thanks for sharing this article.
I'm a female with the ring finger definitely longer than my index finger, and I am left-handed! I guess that contributed to my artistic abilities in the long run, because I've been into art since I was 6 years old. I also do well in math and writing, but my critical reading skills seem to be not as good as other girls (based on SAT scores). And I do have a competitive behavior though I feel that social behavior is more developed through environment. On an embarrassing note, I am slightly...or significantly hairier than other girls of my ethnicity. Maybe not as much as guys, but more than any other Asian girls I've met. I blame the testosterone. I feel like I might be slightly dyslexic, because I have a hard time reading and following directions, and when I first started writing I wrote every character in mirror image according to my parents. But I've read somewhere that Left-handed people are 11 times likely to be dyslexic than Right-handers. Maybe prenatal testosterone is to blame? Now that I think about it, I've also read that 35% of mental institution patients (or jail, I forget) are lefties, which could signify something about their mental health or social behavior. Only one thing didn't match up with this article for me was that while I have a low 2D:4D ratio, I am heterosexual. Nontheless, awesome article!
I'm a straight male with a longer index finger. But I am a musician. So maybe not all the traits you described go together.
My boss is a female and we are a scientific lab that is heavy into math and calculations. After reading your article I realized she had men's hands. She is middle aged and never married and lives with another woman "partner." She never talked about it but I always suspected she was gay. I asked her and she admitted it to me. Now we get along great because there are no secrets. I think people should just admit who they are since it seems they are born that way. Thanks for the story.
I am a straight mother of two boys, I have the masculine finger length, and my youngest son is autistic and has the female finger length, so we must be the odd ones out!
I'm a female mechanical engineer with "masculine" hands. As a child I had a difficult time reading phonetically, but excelled in math in science. I was valedictorian of my junior high and high school class. I am straight with 2 children: boy and girl. Both of my children have masculine hands. My daughter is also very good in math and science and has a difficult time with phonetics.
By the way, I noticed most of my female engineering colleagues have masculine hands, and I can quickly pick out those that do not without looking at their hands.
I'm a lesbian female with the longer ring finger but I don't excel at math; I'm not autistic nor am I left-handed. My skills tend toward reading and writing, particularly poetry. Playing the piano used to be fun but not now. Arthritis has made playing anything other than the radio difficult. Also, I don't know how this fits into your theories but I'm Bipolar and I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. My mother refused Ritalin for me and it made my life a living hell in school but I learned a lot about lists, staying focused and self-control. In spite of not fitting snuggly into your theories, I did find this interesting. I've said many times that I felt like I'd been a man in a former life because most of my attitudes, appetities and ideas are considered extremely masculine; especially those pertaining to sex. Now I have to give my friends the finger.
? From: Lynn Hill
I find your article very interesting. I am a 51 year old heterosexual female with the male finger pattern. Although straight I exhibit the other traits you described – I am a clinical engineering supervisor, excelled at math and logic my whole life. I was (am) ADHD, and have some learning disabilities. My learning disabilities include a problem with rhythm which keeps me form being a good musician, but I love and understand and can read music very well, just can’t keep a beat.
I’ve always said I have a male mind, this might explain it! – Although I am right handed, I hold my pencil the way a leftie does.
I am female and most of this does NOT apply to me. My ring finger is longer than my index finger. I am straight, I am right handed, I don't have autism, I excelled in both English and math though as a child. The only thing that really fit was that I am "masculine" but as in I have tomboyish tendencies. I still loved barbies as a child and I like make up.
I have to know what it means if your right hand the ring finger is longer, and the left hand the index finger is longer. I can send you a picture if you want proof.
I've dated both men and women. I am left handed for everything except scissors, computer mouse utilization, and bowling. My personality has caused me to earn the nickname "Dude with Boobs" at work. I am a software technical writer for a living, so I'm hitting both the math and writing categories. My hands in general are very feminine with very long, slender fingers. Thanks,
Editor: -- to see the possible effects of having hands with different finger length ratios, I would suggest reading another article on "Left Brain : Right Brain". Remember, the left side of the brain controls the right hands and visa versa. Each side of the brain has different "jobs" that it handles for us. One side is logical (like "Spock" on Star Trek) and the other side is emotional and artistic, appreciating the aesthetics of life. I think you will discover your answer here. Which side is in control in your life?
Thanks for sharing your comments.
Dan Eden / viewzone
hello my ring fingers are longer than my index's but- im terrible at math,im not so great with music,im not autistic, im right handed, also im bi-sexual. but i am slightly masculine.
I am a female to male transexual, my index fingers are very much shorter than the rings, in fact they are only a few millimetres longer than the little fingers. Pre-transition was always drawn to usual boys activities, i.e. climbing trees, "boys toys". Hated the typical "girls toys" I was always given.
I've always had problems socialising, and recently been unofficially diagnosed with Aspergers. I did very badly at school apart from art, possibly due to Aspergers. I am right handed. I am a guitarist and also play piano.
I go to the gym, bodybuilding. I have always done electronic/engineering type jobs.
Hello, I am a woman with somewhat longer ring fingers than index fingers. I am left-handed. I am also a scientist; I'll be receiving my bachelor's degree in physics in a few months. While I've yet to be tested, I do suspect I may also be very mildly dyslexic. I am not very musically talented, though; I can just barely pluck out a melody on a piano and can sing by ear well enough to participate in an amateur choir. Nor am I a lesbian; I'd identify my sexuality as perhaps a one on the Kinsey scale at furthest from entirely heterosexual. I am something of a tomboy, though more androgynous than masculine, truth be told. Well, regardless, I very much enjoyed the article; thank you!
Hello there, I'm not sure when this was posted, but I'd like to reply nonetheless. Someone pointed this out to me the other day, and prior, I was unaware of the studies that were conducted on finger length. I'm a 29 year old girl who several years back, realized she was bisexual. I've always felt like one of the boys... I've had many male friends throughout my life and very few female. After a discussion with a friend on all of that, she told me to hold out my hand and then said, "Aha." My ring finger is longer than my index on both hands. My ratio seems to be 0.95. I am right-handed however... but very musically inclined. I have always been good at both math and language however. Funny though that in most sports, I play left-handed, thus making me ambidextrous I suppose. I remember being as young as 4 years old flirting with women... so I've alweays had a very strong masculine side. Most consider me to be an alpha female. Also, although I don't particularly exercise much, I'm very slim (118lbs and 5ft5) and rather strong for my size. I find this research to be rather fascinating.
Just wanted to share my story,
Hi I'm a woman with Low D2 D4 ratio, my index finger is approx 5mm shorter than my ring finger. My personality is quite masculine, I'm quite factual, task oriented, straight to the point. I'm NOT girly girly at all, hate discussions about handbags & nail varnish (boring). I'm also bicurious. A bit prone to some ADD like behaviours. I do some things left handed, did more left handed as a kid than I do now. So yes, I guess I certainly fit well into the findings of these studies!
Ohhh how interesting.. I'm a girl, whose fingers show the masculine pattern.. I'm bisexual, a concert pianist and have been dyslexic all my life! Wow I think that is really cool :) Thanks for the information!
I read your article on finger length with real interest. I am a girl with a female finger patter- both my index fingers are noticeably longer than my ring fingers. I'm right handed, not autistic, or dyslexic.
Despite having had my doubts over the years I don't think I am a lesbian either. My talents also fit with your theory: I'm good at reading, writing and foreign languages, but terrible at maths, badly coordinated in sports, not at all musical and highly likely to get lost if armed with a map! I was just wondering if your theory would also hold that long fingers (ie all of them are long relative to other people) would indicate high hormone levels? I heard that can indicate musical talent. Also, what could be said about men with relatively equal finger lengths (ie 2nd and 4th finger more or less equal)? Anyway, thanks for a very thought-provoking article!
I have an average male hand pattern (ring finger longer than the forefinger). I'm horrible at math. I'm better at writing and verbal skills. I'm a two-time dropout. I did well on my SATs. I thoroughly enjoy many forms of art but not inclined to create it. Passive-aggressive. Never had an interest in sports. Not very sociable, leaning towards anti-social, though I do hold on to a select few friends. Masculine in appearance (face and body shape) and personality, hairy. Doughy, which is due mostly to being overweight as a child, then losing it rabidly with no apparent cause in my teen years, leaving slightly loose skin on a few select places on my body (I'm now in my early 30s). Average strength. I've identified as nonsexual for most of my life, and more specifically now, aromantic nonsexual.
Very Interesting article. I am a 55 year old male, Masculine to the point of being scary to some people, I am a biker, tattooed, Bald, bearded, and have no trace of visible homosexuality. Sexually I have always preferred Men, since the very onset of puberty. My index finger is noticeably shorter than my ring finger on both hands, by the entire length of the Ring fingernail. Approximately 10 mm or so. Now for the personality, I am a medical professional, and have been for 25 years, my math skills are abysmal. I have strong language and reading skills, although when once tested, I was found to read roughly twice as slow as my classmates, which I found disturbing, but was pleased to find out that my retention and recognition of the material was in the high 90 percentage. I was more than willing to trade off speed for acumen. I love music, but am lousy at any use of instruments, to quote my parent's " can't carry a tune in a bucket". I do however react strongly emotionally to music, I like music as a tone setter for my daily life. It's Lady GaGa and Pink for some upbeat, getting my shit together and getting in the groove for the day, At night, it's got to be something extremely mellow "Vangelis Blade runner blues". That kind of stuff. One of the comments I read made mention of the oldest of a group of siblings being homosexual, which I found very interesting. I am the oldest of seven brothers, two of which died before the age of one. I have four surviving brothers, the youngest being born the year I graduated high school. My brothers know about my sexual bent, and one is completely at ease with it. He is straight, and has been in a happy and fulfilling relationship with a woman for many years, I had terrific acne as a teenager and found that to be a constant source of social ostracism, I developed a very "loner" personality, which is to this day an extremely good defense when I'm in a socially charged situation. I am at heart very gentle and passive. I am very pleased that whatever genetic combination formed me made me look like an angry alpha male, That has come in handy in many situations.
My interests when I was growing up, included Archery, which I was very good at, and I shot left handed even though I am a right hand dominant. I am left eye dominant. I enjoyed the usual male stuff growing up. Cowboys and Indians, Motorcycles, beer, pot, camping, hunting, fishing. I tend to enjoy being alone, unless I am with one or two very intimate friends, I despise group activities, and dislike social gatherings. When I graduated College, I skipped Graduation. Have no interest in recognition or standing out. I love to paint, unfortunately I'm a talentless dog at that too. My Medical technical skills are excellent. I have fathered one daughter, even though the sexual attraction to my female mate at the time was dismal, I did find that I was more maternal to my daughter and a protective father who practiced good parenting skills and never let her out of my sight until I felt that she would be safe. She probably grew up feeling like she was in prison, but I was determined to see her become an adult, She has, and has done very well in her life.
Enough about me. I enjoy being male, and I enjoy being with a male. My fingers say I'm straight.
But then, I don't define myself on the basis of my sexual preferences. I found the article to be extremely interesting and the comments to be great in terms of insight into the lives of others,
I am a retired female dentist with a low finger digit ratio. My particular post grad.interest was genetics in relation to teeth I read your article with interest and the following may be of relevance .
I am left handed, practical, have facility working in 3 dimensional contexts, I find numbers fascinating and have found I empathise far more easily with male- thinking ( problem solving ) than female- thinking ( emotive etc) I have always been sporty especially swimming' tennis and athletics.
I am not autistic or homosexual , dyslexic or aggressive . I make clothes ,soft furnishings etc. but have no opinion at all on handbags!
My daughter has the same v.low finger ratio and is also a non-girly ,sporty dentist.
My Daughter-in-law however has a very high ratio and has none of the traits mentioned in the first paragraph, but is immensely well groomed and could discuss handbags at length. ( amazingly we all get on exceedingly well)
It has occurred to me that finger length especially in women could be a consideration In the interview / selection procedure for future dentist / surgeons / vets ?
Thank you for your informative and interesting article
I'm 22 and female. Completely heterosexual. my left hand's ring finger is longer than my index finger, but my right hand's index and ringer finger are the same length. I am right handed. I'm good at almost anything physical and very good at math and science and reading. Verbal skills are my weakest. I just found this to be very interesting.
I'm 22 and female. Completely heterosexual. my left hand's ring finger is longer than my index finger, but my right hand's index and ringer finger are the same length. I am right handed. I'm good at almost anything physical and very good at math and science and reading. Verbal skills are my weakest. I just found this to be very interesting.
Hello, I found your article very interesting. I am a 22 year old female, my ring fingers on both hands are visibly longer than my index fingers. I am definitely heterosexual, beyond left-handed and though not diagnosed dyslexic, I always felt that I had faint signs of it. Growing up I wrote everything in mirror image and sometimes when I'm repeating a number to myself I repeat it wrong but write it down right. Also, I found that in math (for example) if you gave me too many different equations that all looked kind of similar but were different, I'd get them mixed up and it would take a long time for me to completely get them sorted out. That being said, I have always had a knack for general math but also for literature. I am a social butterfly and seem to get along with almost everyone. However, I have always gotten along better with guys or girls that also grew up getting along with the guys. I do not like the catty behaviours of a lot of women. I'm a very forward person when it comes to making a move with a guy I'm interested and tend to be very open and understanding. I have always been musically inclined --- to the point where my piano teacher when I was younger would play a part of a song and I would play it back to her (bothered her a bit actually, I never really read the music because as soon as i heard what it was supposed to sound like, I could figure it out). I am a visual and kinesthetic learner that's for sure. Though I am very much a "tom-boy" with a lot of things, I still have a girly side; I love my jewelry, shoes, clothes, hair and makeup.
I found this article very interesting and intriguing that most of the women with the same finger type as me had a lot of similarities. Pretty much everything aside from the homosexual and autism line up for me
I'm 33 straight married female and on my left hand have equal 2D4D and my right hand low 2D4D I am right handed very artistic love to paint and draw I am good with my hands in general, not very good at math ..I am very girly, not very good at sport . Interestingly I have pcos which is caused by hormone imbalance.
Clenching Your Right Fist Improves Memory
So often we take our hands for granted. Consider how many portraits and photographs focus on out head while a majority of what we do and who we are -- our work and expression -- is the result of our contact with the outside world through our hands. More than any other part of our body, our hands are anatomical structures that create and maintain civilization. Before there was spoken language, there were gestures and hand signs.
What do we really know about our hands?
Ruth Propper and colleagues from Montclair State University have just published a paper in the journal, PLOS ONE (April 2013), which demonstrates the previously unknown use of hands in improving memory.
Participants in the research study were split into groups and asked to first memorize, and later recall words from a list of 72 random words. It's a daunting task under normal circumstances, unless you are a trained memory expert, which the participants were not.
In the experiment there were 4 groups who clenched their hands; One group clenched their right fist for about 90 seconds immediately prior to memorizing the list and then did the same immediately prior to recollecting the words. Another group clenched their left hand prior to both memorizing and recollecting. Two other groups clenched one hand prior to memorizing (either the left or right hand) and the opposite hand prior to recollecting. A control group did not clench their fists at any point.
So what happened?
The group that clenched their right fist when memorizing the list and then clenched the left when recollecting the words performed better than all the other hand clenching groups.
According to Ruth Propper, lead scientist,
"The findings suggest that some simple body movements -- by temporarily changing the way the brain functions -- can improve memory. Future research will examine whether hand clenching can also improve other forms of cognition, for example verbal or spatial abilities."
The authors say that further work is needed to test whether their results with word lists also extend to memories of visual stimuli like remembering a face, or spatial tasks, or where keys, iPhone or the TV remote were placed. Based on previous work, the authors suggest that this effect of hand-clenching on memory may be because clenching a fist activates specific brain regions (left prefrontal cortex) that are also associated with memory formation.
But we can all try this experiment for ourselves. Here's how:
* Get a any magazine or newspaper article and black out any names or places in the text.
* Select a number, say 5, and then copy every 5th word to a paper until you have a few dozen. The experiment used 72 words but your list can vary.
* Use this list as your more-or-less "random" list and try the above experiment with your friends and family.
Some interesting questions are how the test results vary in left-handed v. right-handed individuals... maybe you can find a difference. But remember to have a control... someone who performs the test without making a fist. Compare the results. Let me know what you find.
Clenching Left Hand Helps Athletes Avoid Choking Under Pressure
Some athletes may improve their performance under pressure simply by squeezing a ball or clenching their left hand before competition to activate certain parts of the brain, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
One doesn't have to be an athlete to have stress in today's world so this research should interest anyone who has to "get it together" and function at their peak levels.
In three experiments with experienced soccer players, judo experts and badminton players, researchers in Germany tested the athletes' skills during practice and then in stressful competitions before a large crowd or video camera.
Right-handed athletes who squeezed a ball in their left hand before competing were less likely to choke under pressure than right-handed players who squeezed a ball in their right hand. The study was published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (September 2012).
Juergen Beckmann, PhD, chair of sport psychology at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, explains the phenomenon.
"Rumination (i.e. thinking too deeply about their performance) can interfere with concentration and performance of motor tasks. Athletes usually perform better when they trust their bodies rather than thinking too much about their own actions or what their coaches told them during practice. While it may seem counterintuitive, consciously trying to keep one's balance is likely to produce imbalance, as was seen in some sub-par performances by gymnasts during the Olympics in London."
Essentially, Dr. Beckman is saying that athletes should trust their muscle memory and clear their minds by squeezing a ball.
Previous research has shown that rumination is associated with the brain's left hemisphere, while the right hemisphere is associated with superior performance in automated behaviors, such as those used by some athletes. The right hemisphere controls movements of the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side. The researchers theorized that squeezing a ball or clenching the left hand would activate the right hemisphere of the brain and reduce the likelihood of the athlete's choking under pressure.
The study focused exclusively on right-handed athletes because some relationships between different parts of the brain aren't as well understood for left-handed people, according to the authors.
In fact, there is quite a spectrum of left-handedness. Some "lefties" only write with the left hand but play golf, hold a bat and do other activities with their right hand. Some left handed people can read backwards or upside down, some can not.
"The research could have important implications outside athletics. Elderly people who are afraid of falling often focus too much on their movements, so right-handed elderly people may be able to improve their balance by clenching their left hand before walking or climbing stairs."
"Many movements of the body can be impaired by attempts at consciously controlling them," he said. "This technique can be helpful for many situations and tasks." -- Beckmann
This ball-squeezing technique probably wouldn't help athletes whose performance is based on strength or stamina, such as weightlifters or marathon runners. The effects apply to athletes whose performance is based on accuracy and complex body movements, such as soccer players or golfers.
Is Your Left Hand More Motivated Than Your Right Hand?
According to Mathias Pessiglione, of the Brain & Spine Institute in Paris (Sepember 2010) motivation doesn't have to be conscious. Your brain can decide how much it wants something without input from your conscious mind! This new study shows that both halves (hemispheres) of your brain don't even have to agree. Motivation can happen in one side of the brain at a time.
Once again, we are reminded that the brain is actually TWO brains that cooperate, or not, to perform different tasks in our daily life. Which half does which job is largely what determines our personality.
Right-Handedness Prevailed 500,000 Years Ago!
According to a report in ScienceDaily, right-handedness is a distinctively human characteristic, with right-handers outnumbering lefties nine-to-one. But how far back does right-handedness reach in the human story? And how would you determine this?
Researchers have tried looking at ancient tools, prehistoric art and human bones, but the results have not been definitive. Ancient imprints of hands, such as produced by spattering pigment around the fingers, raises the question of which hand was dominant -- the hand being outlined or the hand doing the spatter?
Now, David Frayer, professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, has used markings on fossilized human front teeth to show that right-handedness goes back more than 500,000 years.
See HERE for more details.
Surprise! A majority of ancient cave handprints were female!
Oct. 15, 2013 -- (ScienceDaily) Plaster handprints from kindergarten, handprint turkeys, handprints outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood -- are all part of modern life, but ancient people also left their handprints on rocks and cave walls. Now, a Penn State anthropologist can determine the sex of some of the people who left their prints, and the majority of them were women.
The assumption has been that hand prints, whether stencils -- paint blown around the hand -- or actual paint-dipped prints, were produced by men because other images on cave walls were often hunting scenes. The smaller handprints were assumed to be adolescent boys.
Dean Snow, emeritus professor of anthropology, came across the work of John Manning, a British biologist who about 10 years ago tried to use the relationships of various hand measurements to determine not only sex, but such things as sexual preference or susceptibility to heart disease. Snow wondered if he could apply this method to the handprints left in cave sites in France and Spain.
"Manning probably went way beyond what the data could infer, but the basic observation that men and women have differing finger ratios was interesting," said Snow. "I thought here was a neat little one off science problem that can be solved by applications of archaeological science."
Dean Snow, emeritus professor of anthropology, talks about Upper Paleolithic art on European cave walls.
When Snow saw a handprint in a book on Upper Paleolithic art, he realized that the image was female. A quick look at five other images found that two thirds were female.
Unfortunately, most cave art photographs lack size indication, making it difficult to determine relative size and the sex of the artist. Snow visited a number of caves and the few existing images with size indications. He also collected hand images from people with European and Mediterranean ancestry. He published his results in the current issue of American Antiquity.
Snow found he needed a two-step process for the modern hands to successfully differentiate men from women. He first measured the overall size of the hand using five different measurements. This separated the adult male hands from the rest. Snow found that step one was 79 percent successful in determining sex, but adolescent males were classified as female.
Step two compares the ratios of the index finger to the ring finger and the index finger to the pinky to distinguish between adolescent males and females. For the known hands, the success rate, though statistically significant, was only 60 percent. There is too much overlap between males and females in modern populations.
"I thought the fact that we had so much overlap in the modern world would make it impossible to determine the sex of the ancient handprints," said Snow. "But, old hands all fall at or beyond the extremes of the modern populations. Sexual dimorphism was greater then than it is now."
Sexual dimorphism implies that males and females differ. Not only were male hands larger, Snow found that development of the fingers, how long they are relative each other, also differs significantly.
The first step in the process showed that only 10 percent of the handprints on cave walls in Spain and France were left by adult males. The second step indicates that 15 percent were placed by adolescent males, leaving 75 percent of the handprints female.
"By just eyeballing, I'm more accurate with the modern hands than the formulas I developed," said Snow. "There are some variables there that I'm not aware of yet. The algorithms are pretty good, but they could be better."
Snow also looked at modern American Indian hands and found that the rules and algorithms developed for Europeans did not work. He notes that different populations require separate analysis.
The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. The original article was written by A'ndrea Elyse Messer.
Dean R. Snow. Sexual Dimorphism in European Upper Paleolithic Cave Art. American Antiquity, 2013; 78 (4): 746 DOI: 10.7183/0002-73126.96.36.1996