Finger length measurements.

Are you tall, short, or got a small head?
Don’t forget to take a look at your fingers!

Recently Roger Dobson – author at presented an informative article with the title: ‘Tall, short – or got a small head? Here’s what your physique reveals about your health’. The article describes how various body dimensions – varying from body length to foot size – can indicate useful information about your risk of developing certain conditions, varying from cancer through to dementia & heart disease.
The continuation presents a quote from Roger Dobson’s article about the 2D:4D digit length ratio – the hand characterstic that has become very well-known in the past few years through the work and the 2 books of ‘the finger’ Professor John T. Manning

Roger Dobson wrote in his article about the hand:


Autism and ADHD, mental illness/depression

A range of disorders has been linked to the length of fingers, and in particular the ratio between index and ring fingers. The ratio is thought to be a marker of what was happening hormonally in the womb when the foetus developed.

It’s thought a relatively long ring finger is a sign that the foetus was exposed to higher levels of the male hormone testosterone, while a relatively long index finger is a marker of the female hormone, oestrogen.

Conditions associated with a long ring finger compared to the index include autism and ADHD. Those associated with a longer index include depression.

Males, who are more likely to develop autism and ADHD, tend to have a longer ring finger relative to their index finger.

Exposure to certain hormones might increase or reduce the risk of certain conditions and traits.

‘It has been suggested that autism may arise as the result of exposure to high concentrations of prenatal testosterone,’ say researchers at Liverpool University.”

Gay men and lesbians tend to have 'reversed' ratios.

Index fingers of most straight men are shorter than the ring fingers; most straight women have the same length or index longer. Gay men and lesbians tend to have reversed ratios.

We all know that the body length of males is usually longer than the body length of females. Scientists call this difference between the sexes: a ‘sexually dismorphic trait’.

 The picture below describes some details of this male-female dimorphic trait: about 75% of men are longer than about 75% of females.

About 75% of males are longer than 75% of females.
John Manning reported in his first book, titled: Digit Ratio that a likewise ‘sexually dimporphic trait’ is noticed in the hands. In the hands of men, the index finger tends to be shorter than the ring finger. And in the hands of women the index finger tends to be the same size (or slightly longer) than the ring finger.

The picture below describes some details of this ‘sexually dimorphic trait’ in the hand: in about 75% of men the ring finger is longer than the index finger; however in females the percentage is about 50%.

About 75% of males have a digit ratio lower than '1.00'; in females this percentage is about 50%.
Interestingly, John Manning also has pointed out that various studies have indicated that the relative lengths of our fingers offer a hint related to the sexual preference of a person!

For, as expected the index fingers of most straight men appear to be shorter than their ring fingers, while for most straight women the length of both fingers is closer to equal, or even reversed in ratio. But some researchers have noted that gay men are likely to have finger-length ratios more in line with those of straight women, and a study of self-described “butch” lesbians showed significantly masculinized ratios. An overview of these results is presented in the picture below:

Researchers have found a link between index and ring finger lengths and homosexuality.

An overview of the scientific sources which have found a link between finger length and sexual preference:

* Hand asymmetry in heterosexual and homosexual men and women: relationship to 2D:4D digit ratios and other sexually dimorphic anatomical traits. – 2008

* The effects of sex, ethnicity, and sexual orientation on self-measured digit ratio (2D:4D). – 2007

* Digit ratio (2D:4D) in homosexual and heterosexual men from Austria. – 2005

* 2nd to 4th digit ratio and a universal mean for prenatal testosterone in homosexual men. – 2003

* The ratio of 2nd to 4th digit length and male homosexuality. – 2000

* Finger length ratios and sexual orientation – 2000


Illustration from the last study (Williams, 2000):