Earlier this month Peter Hill from Melton claimed that his finger length became a clue for the diagnosis of his prostate cancer – after he read a newspaper article which explained that a man whose index finger is shorter than his ring finger (resulting in a low 2D:4D digit ratio) has a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Mr. Hill had been concerned that he might have the disease for some time but it was the article, based on research carried out by the University of Warwick in 2010, which prompted him to push his doctor for a blood test.

Peter Hill said:

“I went to Latham House and told them about my concerns, they carried out a blood test to measure the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in my blood, and it confirmed that I had an extremely dangerous and very high result of 96.”

Mr Hill was immediately referred to Glenfield Hospital and then later Leicester Royal Infirmary for further tests meanwhile his PSA level rose to a worrying 117.

Prostate cancer was confirmed and in October 2012 he started hormone treatment for a year and then spent eight weeks, from January 2013, receiving radiotherapy until his PSA level dropped down to below 1.

Peter Hill said:

“The cancer will never go away but they have it under control now and I am currently in remission. I’m just really glad that I pushed my doctor to get the test done and I want to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested to men of a similar age.”

Dr Julian Barwell, of the Clinical Genetics Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary, said: “Mr Hill has now been given as good a result as you can get, and it’s a fantastic success story that he took the initiative to get checked following research he had looked into himself.”

Source: Modern Hand Reading Forum

Prenatal testosterone exposure, as indicated by relative finger length, may be a marker of increased verbal aggression in adults, new research suggests.

In 2 studies, investigators measured the ratio of length of the second digit/index finger to length of the fourth digit/ring finger (2D:4D) of more than 600 young adult volunteers.

Those who had smaller 2D:4D ratios, which correlates with prenatal exposure to testosterone, reported more verbal aggression behaviors than did the participants with higher ratios. In addition, the male participants showed smaller 2D:4D ratios and higher levels of verbal aggression than their female counterparts.

“These findings are very promising,” lead author Allison Shaw, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University at Buffalo–State University of New York, told Medscape Medical News.

The investigators report that this is one of the first studies to use this method to examine prenatal testosterone exposure as a determinant of a communication trait.

Although verbal aggression may be beneficial in certain situations, such as when standing up for oneself if attacked, higher degrees of this behavior have been shown to be detrimental, they note.

“Understanding the causes of verbal aggression, both biological and social, will allow therapists to have a greater understanding of how to work with these individuals,” said Dr. Shaw.

“In terms of clinical practice, I think the take-home message is that there is a longer process that is involved with this. It’s not just a set of behaviors.”

The study is published in the October issue of the Journal of Communications.

Proxy for Sex Hormones

According to the researchers, the ratio of 2D:4D is an indicator of prenatal androgen exposure (PNAE).

“The endocrine literature indicates that the ratio of the length of 2D to 4D is smaller for men than for women and this difference is driven by PNAE,” they write.

“Most importantly, data indicate that 2D:4D is a proxy for sex hormones levels at the time of brain organization.”

Previous research has also shown a link between 2D:4D and mental rotation ability, courtship behaviors, dominance, athletics, memory, and physical aggression.

“I became very interested in understanding how prenatal hormones can affect adult behavior. And as a communications major, I was especially interested in looking at communication behaviors,” said Dr. Shaw.

She noted that a recent study suggested that 2D:4D could predict financial success over a lifetime, which then gave her the idea to apply this technique toward understanding communication behaviors “not just in a social context but also within a biological one as well.”

In the first study, 224 students from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (52% women; mean age, 20.2 years) had each hand photocopied. From these images, measurements were taken of each finger from its tip to where it meets the palm of the hand.

Questionnaires that included Infante and Wigley’s verbal aggression measure were then administered to all participants.

The second study included 405 students from a large Midwestern university (49.6% women; mean age, 20.4 years). Investigators measured each of the participants’ fingers in person and from images of their hands.

These students filled out the same verbal aggression measure used in the first study as well as the self-reported Infante and Rancer’s Argumentativeness scale and the HEXACO Personality Inventory.

Important Indicators

In the first study, the men’s 2D:4D ratio was significantly smaller than the women’s — but only on the right hand ( P = .005). The men also showed higher levels of verbal aggression than did the women ( P < .001).

In addition, there were statistically significant correlations between 2D:4D and verbal aggression for both hands in both the men and the women.

In the second study, the men had significantly smaller mean 2D:4D ratios than the women on both hands for both the in-person and the photocopied measures. These men were also statistically more verbally aggressive than the women, but they were less argumentative.

Finally, the higher the level of verbal aggression, the lower the 2D:4D ratio for both sexes for the live measure of the right hand and photocopies of both hands.

The ratio did not correlate with either argumentativeness or openness to other experiences.

“This second study showed that 2D:4D didn’t correlate with just any type of communication behavior. Instead, it was with a very specific behavior caused by prenatal testosterone exposure,” said Dr. Shaw.

“Future research would profit by attempting to explicate the mediating mechanisms that result in androgen exposure and differences in 2D:4D and psychological dispositions,” write the investigators.

Dr. Shaw noted that, even so, the difference between the second and fourth digits for everyone “is pretty small.”

“You can’t really look at your hand and know your ratio or know if you’re predisposed to be more verbally aggressive than someone else,” she said.

“Instead, this is a proxy. In human research, we don’t have the ability to measure things perfectly. So these indicators are very important.”

J Commun. 2012;62:778-793. Abstract – The Effect of Prenatal Sex Hormones on the Development of Verbal Aggression

Via: Medscape

Earlier reports about 2D:4D digit ratios and agressesion:

Aggression, testosterone and your finger length!

 After various studies in the past had already suggested that 2D:4D digit ratio could be linked with the Big Five personality dimension Extraversion / Introversion, a new experimental study shows how the finger ratio combined with hand shape produces highly significant results.

The picture above displays a schematic presentation of the results: e.g. the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ signs show the proportional tendencies in the hands of Extraverts and Introverts. Details regarding the underlying results are presented in the article:

Extraversion associated with 2D:4D digit ratio, finger length & hand shape!

After various digit ratio studies found conflicting results related to Extraversion & sensation seeking (most pointed into the direction of a negative correlation), a new Dutch 2012 study suggest that other finger lengths require to be taken into account in order to find more clear results!

 The (unpublished) results from a female only suggest that low 2D:4D digit ratio + long pinky finger are much more often found in the hands of ‘extroverts’ (8 out of 40 hands = 20%), while this combination is rarely seen in the hands of ‘introverts (0 out of 28 hands = 0%).

Additionally, a high 2D:4D digit ratio with short pinky finger is much more common in the hands of ‘introverts’ (5 out 28 hands = 18%),  compared to the hands of ‘extroverts’  (3 out of 40 hands = 7.5%).

More details:

13 Hand signs for Extraversion / Introversion

I had not looked at my right hand so closely since high school days when my friends and I tried to divine each other’s future. The middle finger stood tallest, followed by the ring finger and then the index. In my other hand, I held a science magazine with an illustration of a “masculine” hand. It looked like mine. Apparently, the index finger on a typical “feminine” hand is almost the same length as the ring finger.

The magazine went on to say what the implication of the long ring finger was: I had received more testosterone in my mother’s womb. Estrogen would have made my index finger longer. Finger lengths are obvious indicators of hormonal activity at a crucial time in fetal development.

There are hundreds of studies linking finger length ratio to pretty much everything: behaviour, cognition, personality traits, length and size of body parts, diseases, and more. According to one study, people with my kind of hand are more likely to show mental toughness, optimism and aggression. My “masculine” hand predisposed me towards drug or alcohol addiction, left-handedness, athleticism, and a disinterest in babies. My chances of landing in prison, going mad, or being murdered were high.

Another study suggested that people with male hands were less adept at gauging the moods of people in photographs. As a film editor, I had cut between shots of actors’ faces to accentuate drama, comedy, and pathos in innumerable scenes and episodes of television series. Had I done this without being able to read faces? Give me a break.

I researched where a feminine hand would take me: high risk of breast cancer, schizophrenia, eczema, and hay fever. A longer index finger also indicated the person had better verbal and literary skills. Did I blow my chance of being a good writer while still in my mother’s womb?

I measured the two offending fingers on my right hand since it is more sensitive to prenatal sex hormones than the left. Dividing the length of the index by the length of the ring finger gave me a ratio of 0.95, an average male hand. Women with feminine hands should have a ratio close to one since their index and ring fingers are close to equal length.

It even works in animals. Rats injected with testosterone produce babies with longer fourth digits in their right foot, which would correspond to ring fingers in our hands. High ranking female rhesus macaques had longer ring fingers than lower ranking ones, said one study.

Then came the surprise: long ring fingers make us a successful species. Besides using fire, humans are unique in their ability to throw missiles, such as spears and with slingshots. Having long ring fingers stabilises the middle finger, which provides greater accuracy in hitting the target, said one study. It’s possible that men with long ring fingers, who brought home the bacon more frequently, were preferred mates.

Our destiny is in our hands. But I remain unconvinced. Some studies were drawing conclusions from examining a few people. Many results were contested by others. The methodology was inconsistent: some measured left hands, while one got impossible ratios. It’s possible some of these traits, even finger length, could be inherited. Reading these studies was more entertaining than enlightening — like reading personality types according to zodiac signs.

When my eyes were bleary from reading too long, I said to Rom: “The finger ratio can tell two things — prenatal exposure to sex hormones and maybe sexual orientation.”

Rom asked: “And?”

“And what?”

“What’s your sexual orientation?”

“Possibly lesbianism,” my voice dropped a notch.

With a broad grin and a suggestive look, he commented: “That could be interesting.”

Unwilling to go down that path I pushed back: “In your case, your finger shows your stupidity.”

Rom held up his hand calling for a ceasefire. In the 1960s, he had been bitten by a prairie rattler and his index finger was obviously stunted.

A report by Janaki Lenin

 For quite a few years researchers have assumed that finger length development and the 2D:4D digit ratio is directed by sex hormones. Nevertheless, until now direct experimental evidence was lacking. However, researchers from Florida have reported an important discovery. They discovered via a study of the limb buds in mice – which are known for having a digit length ratio similar to humans – that human fingers are likely to have likewise sex hormone receptors as seen in the paws of mice.

 A few comments made by researchers Martin Cohn (one of the researchers from Florida) and ‘finger professor’ John Manning:

“The discovery that growth of the developing digits is controlled directly by androgen and estrogen receptor activity confirms that finger proportions are a lifelong signature of our early hormonal milieu,” Cohn said.
“I’ve been struggling to understand this trait since 1998,”said John T. Manning, Ph.D., a professor at Swansea University in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the current research.“”When I read this study, I thought, thank goodness, we’ve attracted the attention of a developmental biologist with all the sophisticated techniques of molecular genetics and biology.” “When Zheng and Cohn blocked testosterone receptors, they got a female digit ratio,” Manning said. “I find this completely convincing and very useful,” Manning said.“We can now be more focused in our examination of the links between digit ratio and sex-dependent behaviors, diseases of the immune system, cardiovascular disorders and a number of cancers.” “He suggested that the 2D:4D ratio would be an interesting question, and I have to admit to being skeptical,” Cohn said. “When he came back with the initial results, I was blown away. We looked at each others hands, then got busy planning the next experiment.”

The new discovery provides a genetic explanation for a raft of studies that link finger proportions with traits ranging from sperm counts, aggression, musical ability, sexual orientation and sports prowess, to health problems such as autism, depression, heart attack and breast cancer.

The report about the new study appears in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


An overview of some key-reports about finger ratios:

http://www.handresearch.com/news/digit-ratio-finger-length.htm

Why is the ringfinger associated with marriage?

Since the classic Roman time the ring finger has been known to be associated with the wearing of rings in married men and women. The literature indicates that this early belief appears to origin in the idea that a nerve, vein or artery runs directly from the 4th digit to the heart, and therefore it became judged to be the seat of the emotions. Unfortunately medical science today appears not able to present any anatomical evidence that confirms this idea. Nevertheless, there are various other interesting explanations which describe how the ring finger became associated with marriage!

Despite the missing of anatomical evidence for a connection with the heart, there is alternative evidence which suggest that wearing a ring on the ring finger can be associated with the ‘control’ of brute emotions.


CASANOVA HAD THE LONG RING FINGER:

Anecdotal evidence is found in the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova from Venice, who became known as one of the most famous ‘womanisers’ of all times. Casanova’s life as an adventurous writer took him across Europe, and in his memoirs about his stay in Spain we learn of the relative length of his fingers. Casanova described a dispute with the painter Anton Raphael Mengs about the ‘human condition’ of the ratio between the index finger and the ring finger. While Menge was claiming that his longer index finger was the correct human condition, Casanova claimed that his long finger was ”like that of all the children descended from Adam’.

But Casanova was not aware that his claim was basically only true for men only!


COMMITMENT WITH MARRIAGE:

Professor John Manning from the UK presented two books devoted to the ‘2D:4D digit ratio’. In his first book, Manning presented some evidence that the wearing of rings in married women can be understood as an act of ‘advertising’ their commitment to their marriage.

Additionally, the study also demonstrated that a considerable lower percentage of the married men (29%) was wearing a ring on their ring finger – while the percentage was considerably higher for the married women (71%).


FINGER LENGTH REPRESENTS A PRENATAL MARKER:

Today especially the length of the ring finger became known as a prenatal marker for masculinity, and in all regions of the world studies have confirmed that in males the absolute length of the ring finger is usually longer than the absolute length of the index finger. And some studies have pointed out that the sexual dimorphism in finger measures is even more strongly expressed in the distal extent of fingertips than in the length of fingers.

In his second book ‘The Finger book’ Prof. John Manning describes a few references to scientific studies dating back to the 19th and early 20 century:

“The ‘Casanova pattern’ in the fingers is considered by some to be the mark of an ugly hand – an atavistic hand recalling brute instincts and behaviours, modelling the forms of the fingers of our monkey relatives. Thus the ‘beast’ in us is represented by the ring finger while the ‘beauty’ resides in the index finger. This notion has led to suggestions that the femininised ‘Mengs pattern’ is of a purer type, a hand which signifies emancipation from our primate ancestry. … Science, however, has been slow to identify the importance of such connections. That there is a sex difference in the relative length of men’s and women’s fing and index fingers has been known for more than a century. Compared to sex differences arising at puberty the finger ratio is modest in its size and visibility, and it has been neglegted.”

These considerations provide an explanation about why the 4th finger became known as the ‘ring finger’. The ringfinger became also known as the 4th finger or the annulus (digitus annularis).


RECOMMENDED BOOKS:

The following books about fingers are highly recommended to read much more about fingers (presenting various elements that can be described as ‘building stones’ in Mult-Perspective Palm Reading):

Fingerology (2010), authors: Hillary J. Kener & Michael Zeide

The Finger Book (2008), author: John T. Manning

Digit Ratio (2002), author: John T. Manning

Last year British researchers reported new confirmative findings for a link between index finger length (relative to ring finger length) and the risk of developing prostate cancer. Men featured with a longer index finger than ring finger, appear to have a 33% higher chance for not developing prostate cancer.

Often such studies are qualified by non-experts as “nonsense” – initially because of the association with classical palmistry. Usually a main argument of concern is the seize of the studied sample: many ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ studies have been focused relatively small samples, and usually with the statistics were simly not strong enough to be applied to individuals. But those arguments can not be used to the describe the new British study!

The new British research involves a study where the hands of 1,524 prostate cancer patients were examined, which were compared with a control group of 3,044 men.

It can also be noted that Professor John Manning described in his second book ‘The Finger Book‘ with great details the suspected link between the ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ and prostate cancer – a complex theory about of role glutamine chains in the sensitivity of hormone receptors, which in their turn play a role in the activation of testosterone in the body:

…The various forms of the androgen receptor have important consequences for our health and behaviour. For example, African-American men have shorter glutamine chains (high sensitivity to testosterone) than white men. Short glutamine chains are associated with an increased susceptibility to prostate cancer, and this may in part explain why the incidence of prostate cancer is higher in African-Americans than in white Americans. …”

In short, there seems to exist a triangular relationship between: 1) the high percentage of prostate cancer in Americans with African ancestry, 2) the length of the glutamine chains, and 3) the length ratio between index finger and ring finger.

The importance of the new British study can be recognized in the fact the use of preventive screening for prostate cancer – which is anno 2010 usually done through the use of a blood test – is still an object of confusion. Simply because the benefits of the screening devices are still very unclear. Meanwhile it is a fact that prostate cancer is known as the No. 1 cause of death from cancer in men (see picture below).

Therfore finger length assessment can become a new tool in prostate cancer screeing!

The British researchers therefore are speculating about how to add a practical application of their finger length study to the traditional methods of prostate cancer prevention screening!

RELATED SOURCES:
More finger length studies
How to read your own palm!

Can finger length predict infidelity?

[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] Earlier this year Dr. Phil and his panel of medical experts discussed the new science behind a cheater’s brain and what can be done if your loved one is at a higher risk. Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Insatiable Wives, clinical psychologist Dr. David Ley, Claremont University’s Dr. Paul Zak and author of The Male Brain, neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine explain how you can discern a man’s risk for infidelity and the treatment options to lower his risk. Studies have indicated that the ‘Casanova-type’ finger ratio (low 2d:4d) is often seen in polyandry + polygyny populations, and …men who cheat!

Dr.Phil.com presents a 4 item list of physiological indicators that your han is at a higher risk for cheating:

  • Length of ring finger compared to pointer finger: The length of a man’s ring finger is linked to testosterone in utero and during puberty. A longer ring finger means more testosterone, and the increased likelihood of a greater number of sex partners and a higher risk of cheating.

  • Facial symmetry and size of jaw: If one side of a man’s face matches the other side, is symmetrical, the more it is an indicator to women that that man has high genetic value. Men whose faces are more [symmetrical] are more likely to have more partners because more women want to have their children.
  • Size of penis: If a male is well-endowed, that means more testosterone and a higher risk of cheating.
  • Brain injuries: Men with a history of engaging in impact sports like football or martial arts, or men who’ve had a history of concussions are at a higher risk. Also, men with disorders like ADD or bipolar disorder have low pre-frontal cortex activity or hyper-frontal activity, which could mean less ability to stop impulsive behaviors, like cheating.

So, how surprising is it really that Casanova had as well the long ring finger !?

 SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
BBC Test: finger length & sex I.D.!
Finger length & Cupid’s science!
The science of gaydar: finger length & sexual preference!
What they say about men with long ring fingers!

The second international congress of eugenics (1921) reported: differences between the hands of white and negro fetuses.
The second international congress of eugenics (1921) reported: differences between the hands of white and negro fetuses.

[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] An exhibit from the 1921 second international congress of eugenics presented a report about black-white 2d:4d differences established by the third month of gestation. Modern 2D:4D digit ratio research however has demonstrated that the 1921 results are actually far less revealing than one might presume. For research in various white European populations has indicated that the average ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ of for example people from Finland is hardly higher than the average digit ratio in Jamaicans & Zulus.

Eugenicists emphasized the supposed hereditary differences among races and ignored the social-economic variables that might account for differences in behavior and customs. Thus, the eugenic concept of degenerate heredity provided a pseudo-scientific gloss to age-old prejudices.

John T. Manning presents in his book ‘The Finger Book’ (p.28, 2008) some evidence which illustrates the fact that the index:ring finger ratio differences WITHIN (white) populations are usually larger than the differences BETWEEN the averages of various (ethnic) populations:

“In this sample of 1,516 men and women from ten countries, the average index:ring finger ratio is 0.97 and ranges from about 0.87 to 1.12. … The average ratio per country varies across the distribution and is indicated by the position of the countries. The highest average ratios are found in the samples from Poland (P), Spain (S) and England (E), in a band of ratios from 1.00 to 0.98. … An intermediate group (average ratios from 0.97 to 0.96) comprises subjects from Hungary (H=ethnic hungarians and Hg=Hungarian Gypsies), Germany (G), and India (I). … The group with the longest ring fingers (average ratio o.95 to 0.93) comprise Zulu, Finish and Jamaican participants [ranked by average digit ratio]. They are likely to have experienced high testosterone concentration before birth.”

ILLUSTRATION FROM 2008: Digit ratios in various populations!
Digit ratios in various populations!

The continuation of this post concerns an (outdate) quotation from the 1921 report:

OUTDATED ILLUSTRATION FROM 1921: Differences between white and negro fetuses!
ILLUSTRATION: Differences between white and negro fetuses!

QUOTE FROM THE 1921 REPORT:

“Fig. 24. Comparison of White and Negro Fetuses”

“An exhibit prepared by Dr. A.H. Schulz of the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, deals with racial differences during prenatal development of man. It is based upon researches on 455 white and 168 negro fetuses ranging in age from the ninth to the fortieth week of intrauterine life. Fourteen plaster casts of white and negro specimens and ten large table illustrate the chief points of difference in fetuses of the two races and in which periods of development that are most distinct.”

“Of these differences the following may be enumerated: The average of the upper arm-forearm index for every week of fetal life is larger in the negro than in the white, showing that the forearm in relation to the upper arm is longer in negro fetuses. In an analogous way the leg in relation to the thigh was found to be longer in negro fetuses, a difference which becomes more pronounced with advancing development. The hand as well as the foot is slightly shorter and broader in white fetuses. In the latter, finger II and IV are of equal length in the greater percentage of cases and frequently finger II is even longer than finger IV; while in the negro the relation in length between these two fingers is more often in favor of finger IV and the latter is never shorter than finger II. The length of the thumb in relation to the total hand length is shorter in the negro, a difference which is constant and rather marked throughout intrauterine development.”

“The first toe is the longest in a greater percentage of white than of negro fetuses, while the second toe is longest in a greater percentage in the negro. In the latter race the heel is more prominent than in the white. The trunk shows no racial differences. Of the head, the brain part is proportionately smaller and the face part larger, particularly in height, in negro fetuses. The nose is relative shorter and broader in negro fetuses in all stages of development, causing a very marked difference in the nasal index of the two races. During the later part of pregnancy the nostrils are directed transversely in the negro and sagitally in the white. The lips are much thicker in negro fetuses.”

Again, modern science today learns that reality can not be described in black and white… you are welcome to share you opinion!

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
Evolution of the human hand, finger & the palmar creases!
Finger length linked with social behavior!
Understanding our past: “the primate hand vs. the human hand”!