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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a software engineer / partner working for a young company in Austin, Texas, USA. I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, eating out, and partying in the Warehouse District. I should spend more time working on my house....

Sunday, April 03, 2005

2D:4D finger length ratio

I read a couple of different news articles over the last year or so about the interesting correlations between the ratio of your index finger(2D, second digit) to your ring finger(4D, fourth digit) and various primarily male traits. Researchers don't know exactly what causes the ring finger to be longer than the index finger (as measured from the basal crease, the crease at the bottom of the finger where it attaches to the palm). It is theorized that it has to due with pre-natal testosterone levels in the womb. Men have a lower ratio than women across all populations and the ratio is not believed to change over your lifetime. Additionally research has shown that the ratio is a better predictor when using the right hand instead of the left (although I am curious if they adjust for hand dominance).

Anyway it turns out that a bunch of interesting studies have been done on this and all kinds of fascinating results have been found. In all cases I will try to describe the results based on the perspective of having a lower ratio(ie. significantly longer ring finger than the index finger), which is considered generally to be associated with more masculine traits. Here is a taste of what the research suggests:

Men with a lower ratio correlates with more Physical Aggression

Better asymmetrical hand performance in Jamaican children

Across ethnic groups Afro-Caribbean blacks have the lowest ratios, with Oriental Hans having the highest

Low ratios correlates to larger families for men, whereas high ratios correlate to larger families for women

Lower ratios correlate with a lower likely hood of homosexuality.

A lower ratio correlates to better performance in skiing

It also correlates with a better ability to play soccer (football outside the US).

Increased likely hood to be a "butch" lesbian versus a "femme" lesbian among self-described lesbians

Lower ratios suggest a higher likelihood to have Autism and possibly Asperger syndrome

There are lots of interesting available abstracts on the National Library of Medicine . Just search their PubMed website for "2D:4D ratio" there were 47 abstracts when I did it today.

Bonus: An interview with the scientist that did the study on soccer players

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