August 24, 2013
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
December 8, 2012
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.
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
Earlier reports about 2D:4D digit ratios and agressesion:
August 11, 2012
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?”
“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
December 27, 2011
Recently professor John T. Manning revised his theory about finger length ratio development. While he had already mentioned the role of prenatal sex steroids, now the ‘balance’ between sexe hormones (testosterone & oestrogen) has become a key-element in his theory.
Manning described his revision in the PNAS-article: ‘Resolving the role of prenatal sex steroids in the development of digit ratio‘.
Manning’s working hypothesis now includes the following 7 key elements:
1 – 2D:4D Finger ratio results from the balance between prental testosterone & prenatal estrogen;
2 – High 2D:4D finger ratio result from low testosterone concentrations OR high estrogen concentrations;
3 – Low 2D:4D finger ratio result from high testosterone concentrations OR low estrogen concentrations;
4 – The ring finger (4D) has much more hormone receptors than the index finger (2D), therefore the 2D:4D finger ratio is mostly driven by changes in the length of the ring finger (due to prenatal hormone concentrations);
5 – Studies in human & animals indicate that the link between prenatal hormones and 2D:4D finger ratio is generally stronger for the right hand;
6 – 2D:4D Finger ratio varies with sexe: males generally have longer fourth digits relative to second digits than females;
7 – 2D:4D Finger ratio varies with ethnicity.
“Armed with this list of skeletogenic genes linked to 2D:4D, we can now be more focused in our examination of the links between 2D:4D and the etiology of sexdependent behaviors and diseases of the immune system, cardiovascular disorders, and a number of cancers.”
July 5, 2011
JULY 4, 2011 – Finally… the long waited proof is now available: Korean researchers from the In Ho Choi of Gacheon University Gil Hospital, have pointed out that the popular ‘digit ratio‘ does correlate with penile length!
Finger professor John T. Manning had already pointed out in his second book ‘The Finger Book‘ (2008) that a Greek study in the Naval and Veteran’s Hospital of Athens (2002) had pointed out that the length of the index finger correlates with the length, glans & volume of the penis. Manning commented (in ‘The Finger Book’):
“Spyropoulos and his collegues did not measure the remaining fingers, so we cannot be sure of their relationship to penis length. My guess is that they would have found the ring finger the strongest predictor, and that long ring fingers in relation to index fingers would be associated with longer penises.”
The new Korean study shows that John Manning – the ‘finger professor’ – was right… again!
The researchers from Korea found that the ratio between the second and fourth digits on men’s right hand correlate to the length of his flaccid and stretched penis. A lower index-to-ring finger length ratio indicates a longer (stretched) penis.
NOTICE: The table below is taken from the scientific article; it e.g. illustrates that likewise results were found for body length and penis length – for the ‘flaccid condition’ the result for body length were slightly higher than for the 2D:4D digit ratio, but in the ‘stretched condition’ finger length ratio was a better predictor for penis length!
The key to this relationship may lie in the womb, a team member added:
“During the fetal period, high concentrations of testosterone lead to high testicular activity, resulting in a lower digit ratio, in the present study, patients with a lower digit ratio tended to have a longer stretched penile length.”
The researchers also added that the length of the stretched and flaccid penis does show “a strong correlation” with an erect penile length.
The Korean report was published on july 4 in the Asian Journal of Andrology, and the scientific article is available at Nature.com.
How can we understand this correlation between finger lenght and penis length?
Let’s take a look at the hands of one of the biggest ‘stars’ in the adult industry today: Ron Jeremy. Jeremy is today known as the ‘best performing’ male adult star ever, he is e.g. listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Appearances in Adult Films”, and he is noted for his 9.75-inch (~24.75 cm) penis (self-reported according Wikipedia).
How about his hands? His handprints are display at the entrence of Hustler’s Hollywood, at the ‘Porn Stars Walk of Fame’ in West Hollywood, California – see the picture below. His 2D:4D digit ratio is estimated at 0.85… which is exceptionally low for a caucasian male!
MORE FAMOUS HANDS AVAILABLE AT:
‘Hands of fame’ – The hands of 93 celebrities & famous people!
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!
November 5, 2010
Researchers from England & Canada presented earlier this week brand new evidence that the neanderthals’ life was much more dominated by competition & promiscuity than our lifes today! Maybe more surprizing is the method that the researchers used to acquire their new findings: finger length ratio measurements!
The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, draws upon a famous and controversial indicator of social behavior: the comparative length of the index finger and the ring finger, also known as the 2D:4D finger ratio. If the ring finger is longer than the index finger, that’s supposed to be correlated with higher prenatal exposure to androgens — resulting in a higher proclivity for aggressiveness and promiscuity.
A few numbers from the results:
• Modern humans averaged a 0.957 index-to-ring finger ratio, and were considered to be on the line between a “pair-bonded,” or monogamous, species and a middle-of-the-road species.
• Chimps, gorillas and orangutans had index-to-ring ratios in the 0.90 to 0.92 range, and were classified as “non-pair-bonded,” or promiscuous.
• An early modern human from Israel’s Qafzeh Cave, thought to be about 95,000 years old, had an index-to-ring ratio of 0.935. Based on that statistic, the researchers surmised this individual would be more promiscuous than modern humans.
• The finger bones from five Neanderthals yielded a 0.928 ratio, associated with even greater competitiveness and promiscuity. Ardipithecus’ bones took it up another notch, to 0.899. Two even older primate ancestors, Hispanopithecus and Pierolapithecus, had ratios of 0.848 and 0.908, which means they would have been tough to live with as well.
• On the other end of the spectrum, the monogamous gibbons had a 1.009 ratio … and the australopith sample came in with a ratio higher than that of modern-day humans (0.979). The implication, then, is that australopiths were monogamous.
Scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the universities of Southampton and Calgary, used finger ratios from fossilised skeletal remains of early apes and extinct hominins, as indicators of the levels of exposure species had to prenatal androgens – a group of hormones that is important in the development of masculine characteristics such as aggression and promiscuity.
It is thought that androgens, such as testosterone, affect finger length during development in the womb. High levels of the hormones increase the length of the fourth finger in comparison to the second finger, resulting in a low index to ring finger ratio (2D:4D digit ratio). Researchers analysed the fossil finger bone ratios of Neanderthals and early apes, as well as hominins, Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus afarensis, to further understanding of their social behaviour.
The team found that the fossil finger ratios of Neanderthals, and early members of the human species, were lower than most living humans, which suggests that they had been exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens. This indicates that early humans were likely to be more competitive and promiscuous than people today.
The results also suggest that early hominin, Australopithecus – dating from approximately three to four million years ago – was likely to be monogamous, whereas the earlier Ardipithecus appears to have been highly promiscuous and more similar to living great apes. The research suggests that more fossils are needed to fully understand the social behaviour of these two groups.
Dr Susanne Shultz, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford describes:
“Social behaviours are notoriously difficult to identify in the fossil record. Developing novel approaches, such as finger ratios, can help inform the current debate surrounding the social systems of the earliest human ancestors.”
And Dr Emma Nelson, an archaeologist from the University of Liverpool, argues that comparing the finger-length ratios of extinct and present-day species is a valid technique for making an indirect assessment of our long-gone ancestors’ social behavior. She said:
“It is believed that prenatal androgens (male sex hormones) affect the genes responsible for the development of the fingers, toes and the reproductive system. We have recently shown that promiscuous primate species have low index to ring finger ratios, while monogamous species have high ratios.”
“We used this information to estimate the social behaviour of extinct apes and hominins. Although the fossil record is limited for this period, and more fossils are needed to confirm our findings, this method could prove to be an exciting new way of understanding how our social behaviour has evolved.
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.
March 5, 2010
What does finger length say about athletic ability? In a BBC project “Secrets of the Sexes” John T. Manning risked his reputation by participating in an experiment with six athletes: all 5000 meters specialists… the outcome is simply astonishing!
Professor John T. Manning explains:
“… What I should be able to do is look at the differences between the ring finger and index finger, and on that basis rank these runners: first, second, third, fourth and so on. In theory that should work.”
Comment voice explains:
“In practice we’re providing professor Manning with photocopies of the athletes hands. And in return he’s risking his reputation by providing us with the results of a race that has yet to be run.”
You can now learn more about the fascinating ‘2D:4D digit ratio’: take a look at the outcome of this rather remarkable experiment – you will likely enjoy it, and probably… you will remember the outcome easily!!! (starting at 2:05 of the youtube video)
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
February 8, 2010
Portrait of Giacomo Casanova by Anton Raphael Mengs (1768).
Numerous references to variations in finger length patterns are found in the history of literature. However, none of the revelations are more lively than the informative comment in the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova (Jacques Casanova de Seingalt, 1725-1798) – who has been described as ‘world’s greatest lover’. Casanova where he recounts a conversation with the painter Anton Raphael Mengas (Casanova, 1794).
Peters et al. (2002) reported that Casanova made 2 clear statements: first, that the ring finger is relatively longer than the index finger and, second, that this is the case for both men and women. What follows is a quote from the work of Casanova (The Memoirs of Casanova: Spanish Passions) about one of his conversations with the German neoclassic painter Anton Raphael Mengs.
QUOTE FROM CASANOVA (1794):
… Once I dared to tell him that he had made a mistake in the hand of one of his figures, as the ring finger was shorter than the index. He replied sharply that it was quite right, and shewed me his hand by way of proof. I laughed, and shewed him my hand in return, saying that I was certain that my hand was made like that of all the descendants of Adam.
“Then whom do you think that I am descended from?”
He got up, threw down brushes and palette, and rang up his servants, sayin,-
“We shall see which is right.”
The servant came, and on examination he found that I was right. For once in his life, he laughed and passed it off as a joke, saying-
“I am delighted that I can boast of being unique in one particular, at all events.”
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING: