Academic science has developed a new theory about how finger length is related to human biology & behavior. A significant part of theory is focussed on the so-called: ‘2D:4D digit ratio’, which concerns the full length ratio of only two fingers: index finger vs. ring finger. In women the length of both fingers is usuallly about equal, while in men the ring finger is usually slightly longer: a tiny sex difference.
NOTICE: This tiny sexe difference has been confirmed among many ethnic populations around the world, but one should also keep in mind that the finger length differences between ethnic populations are often larger than the finger length differences between males and females.
FINGER LENGTH & ATHLETIC ABILITY
Professor John T. Manning of the University of Liverpool (School of Biological Sciences, Liverpool, UK) explains the link between finger length & athletic ability as follows (see video: starting at 2m5s):
“Our fingers have information about how much testosterone and how much oestrogen we’ve been exposed to in the whomb. 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 unvealed “LIVE” in the video (starting at 5m10s). And surprizingly… the theory appeared to be pretty accurate in practice. After Manning & the athletes are controfonted 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 bullox 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 prental link with the androgens (testosterone & oestrogen), 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, and even sexual preference.
The following two videos present other materials from the BBC’s “Secrets of The Sexes”: in the second video Manning explains how finger length is related to performance in spatial-visual tasks, and in the third video Manning demonstrates how finger length is related to another typical sexe-related aspect of personality: the ability to empathize!
HOW TO MEASURE DIGIT RATIO?
NOTICE: Measuring the ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ is really a matter of measuring the full length of both fingers. Two additional tips to avoid: 1 – don’t try to ‘judge’ the 2D:4D digit ratio with bare eyes only (conscientious measurment + calculation is a necessity) 2 – one can not find the ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ from the back of the hand, nor the tips of the fingers only.
Picture source: University of Cambridge.
IS THIS THE NEW ‘PALM READING’?
In 2008 Professor Chris McManus of the University College London (Psychology and Medical Education) characterized Manning’s finger research as follows:
“Chiromancy, the notorious pseudoscience that Sir Walter Scott bracketed with physiognomy, astrology and “other fantastic arts of prediction”, has for two decades been creeping back into scientific favour. And John Manning is its high priest. In The Finger Book, he [Manning] writes: “I believe that the pattern and nature of our decline in middle life and the disease which will eventually lead to our death, is dependent to a large extent on our experiences as a foetus”, a phrase that could almost have been written by Cheiro, the early 20th-century society palmist.”
Because of the obvious association with the divination aspect of palmistry (which is still very popular in various countries such as India & Pakistan), the issue of the ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ will probably continue to have a controversial status.