Finger length related to autism! | Low ‘digit ratio’ (0.94)

October 1, 2008

Finger length related to autism.

Autism research in the hands of children.

Autism research in the hands of children.

Finger Length & Autism:

The world’s most famous ‘digit ratio’ research, John T. 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. 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 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.

An overview of the scientific sources which have found a link between finger length (low ‘digit ratio': 0.94) and autism:

* The 2th to 4th ratio and autism – 2001 (PDF)

* [Evaluation of the 2nd to 4th digit ratio in the patients with autism] – 2005 (Japanese study)

* Differences in finger length ratio between males with autism, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified, ADHD, and anxiety disorders – 2006

* Motion and form coherence detection in autistic spectrum disorder: relationship to motor control and 2:4 digit ratio – 2006

Digit ratio related to autism.

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11 Responses to “Finger length related to autism! | Low ‘digit ratio’ (0.94)”


  1. [...] likely to test positive for autism Father’s Age Is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia Finger length related to autism! Flu, fever linked with autism in pregnancy study Head Size Tied to Regressive Autism in Boys High [...]

  2. PaulineLovesPhysics Says:

    My middle finger and ring finger are almost the same size, you have to look really hard to even see the difference. Im bi, and my teachers back in elementry school suspected I was autistic but never was tested…I wounder if I am autistic. Man IM sad…

  3. Killany1 whosdifferent Says:

    I’m being hurt socially by this research. I’m a heteral female with long ring fingers. It was brought to my attention that people with a difference in finger sizer are gay/lezy. I’M NOT! but that doesn’t matter because of what this research says. People are bullying and cruel.
    Now I’m a lezbian because you say so! I’M NOT A LEZBIAN! I’M STRAIGHT! But that doesn’t matter to the other heteral’s because they HATE GAYS/LEZYS!
    THANKS FOR NOTHING! NOW I’M BEING LABELED AS A LEZBIAN! I’M LEARNING WHAT HATE IS. THANKS FOR MESSING UP OUR COMMUNITY AND MY LIFE! So I get when children do the finger paints with there hands now we can socially isolate them too!
    I’m sure now that the courts will start putting people in jail for contempt of court because your research is more credibible that a person’s work or life choices? PLEASE SOMEONE DO A STUDY ON LONG RING FINGERED WOMEN WHO ARE NOT LEZBIANS SO I CAN HAVE MY LIFE BACK! I WONDER HOW MANY CHURCH PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE THROWN OUT OF CHURCH FOR BEING CURSED BY GOD!

    • fingerlengthdigitratio Says:

      Dear Killany,

      NONE OF THE STUDIES that reported a significant link between finger length and sexual preference, have suggested that one can read one’s preference from finger length only!!

      So, if people are using the results of those studies to ‘bully’ other people… then they for sure jumped into a MIS-INTERPRETATION of those studies. But even if they knew, would they stop bullying other people?

      Likely not – they would probably just use another ‘false’ argument to continue their act-of-terror!

      How fair is it to blame scienctists for their efforts?

      Anyway, thank you for your sincere complaint – and I am very sorry to hear about your experience!!
      And for sure, I will start considering what I can do to avoid any further misinterpretation of these basically very interesting results.

      Kind regards from The Netherlands,

      Martijn.

    • Y-Lime Says:

      Killany1
      I too am a hetero female with a low digit ratio.As studies show that most lesbians have a low ratio and Polycystic Ovarian Disease,(also related to LDR), what the studies DON’T claim is that all low-digit females are gay at all, in fact they state the opposite!
      I am feminine with the added benefits of being mechanically inclined. I also despise things such as scrap-booking. When taking tests (google one) for sex brain-type mine lands in the middle. I admittedly don’t identify with lesbians at all except that I am not as girlie as other women and perhaps don’t “fit in” to the stereotypes set. Perhaps this is just another inaccurate stereotype but I think that abuse from a male may be part of the recipe that is missing for people like us.Maybe something different happens with lesbians during puberty than what happened with you or I. Either way, I know I am who I am in part because of T in the womb affecting the way my brain developed so I will not dislike anyone when it is being proven to be part of their biology.If people believe this “proves” you are gay, they are being ignorant and not reading the actual stats & studies.Conversely, LDR in gay women is simply fact. The only argument against it would be if one believed that researchers (from several separate studies) went in & maliciously changed measurements. W/ industry standards for accuracy, checks & balances, double-blind & peer reviewed studies & in something this straight forward (not open to interpretation)it is hard to argue with simple arithmetic.


  4. [...] is true for the ’2D:4D digit ratio’: multiple international studies have revealed that people with autism usually have typical male-like finger length ratios (0.94 or lower). However – maybe less surprizing – the typical male-like low 2D:4D ratio [...]


  5. [...] hands reveal about his suspect autism? The past few decades of scientific research indicate that a ‘low 2D:4D finger ratio’ could be one of the most significant hand features related to autism. And the high quality [...]


  6. [...] believe Albert Einstein displayed signs of autism (Asperger syndrome). Earlier research on finger length & autism has indicated that a low digit ratio (0.94 or lower) highers the chance for the presence of [...]


  7. [...] length reveals Busted by digit ratio and bikini Athletic ability revealed by your finger length Finger length related to autism The finger news Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Finger length shows your talent [...]


  8. [...] ARTICLES: Finger length shows how a pupil will do in maths or English. Finger length linked to autism. Giving science the finger News about your hands Posted in digit ratio, digit ratio research, [...]

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