The Truth Behind Finger Length and Testosterone Relation

Life is different for everyone and so is every individual’s personality. But somehow, we all are desperate to find distinct patterns and generalize personality traits with specific physical attributes. For instance, people believe that individuals with defined jawline become more successful. In recent times, the hype has been regarding the relationship between men’s finger length and their testosterone levels.

Finger Length and Testosterone

The study on finger length testosterone was performed by evolutionary biologist, John Manning. His idea was that the ratio between your second finger and the fourth finger (called the 2D:4D ratio) can influence his behavior and detect the amount of testosterone a baby was exposed to during fetal development. The study showed that the lower the ratio the higher was the testosterone exposure. 

The results showed that men had lower ratios than women, indicating their ring fingers were longer as compared to their index fingers. In addition, the finger length testosterone ratio has been linked to personify traits, sexual orientation, vulnerability to diseases, etc. But people forget that the study was not conclusive and was conducted among a limited number of people. 

Inference from finger length testosterone

Despite the inconclusive study, the research blew out of proportion and grew increasingly popular. So, if you want to know what the ratio claims to signify, here’s what finger length says about testosterone. All the inferences are based on the ratio of a man’s right hand.

  • Men with a lower 2D:4D ratio have bigger penis size owing to the greater testosterone exposure in the womb.
  • Men with a lower 2D:4D ratio tend to have more attractive facial features than men who have a greater ratio.
  • However, men with a lower 2D:4D ratio are at a higher risk of prostate cancer as compared to those with a greater ratio. This information was revealed by a study done by the British Journal of Cancer in 2010.
  • People with longer ring fingers tend to be great athletes. This may be due to higher testosterone exposure during fetal development. On the flip side, people with a greater 2D:4D ratio are better at solving memory puzzles and are good at cognitive skills.

What finger length says about testosterone levels might have become clear to you now. It has nothing to do with the amount of androgen your body produces but rather reflects the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in your mother’s womb. A study from King’s College, London found that higher testosterone exposure increased the risk of developing motor neuron diseases in later life.

The hypothesis is that motor neurons do not respond to high testosterone levels and hence make the fetus more prone to developing neurological diseases. People who have a greater 2D:4D ratio have longer index fingers. This means that their exposure to testosterone was lower than their counterparts. The study suggests that this group of individuals are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. 

The debate

Several scientists have agreed that prenatal hormone exposure does reflect the physical traits and features of a child. That is why many parents ask their doctors to find out their child’s finger length ratio and assess potential dangers. However, such results have been seen in only a limited population. Further research needs to be done in order to arrive at a unanimous conclusion.

There has been much debate about whether testosterone exposure before birth affects an individual’s sexual orientation or not. Some scientists say that higher testosterone exposure can influence whether a woman will be lesbian. But other studies say that testosterone affects sexual orientation only in men and not women. 

Though there is a disparity between the results of the study, there are some scientists who don’t agree with the finger length testosterone concept at all. They feel that the original study is faulty, the measurement of finger lengths is not accurate, and that men might ‘appear’ to have longer ring fingers due to the bulky size of their hands. Moreover, the study was conducted only on a few groups of individuals and the results are not conclusive. 

A person’s personality traits and health risks depend mainly on the genes they inherit. Our DNA and environmental factors are what influence our behavior, physical features, and the diseases we get. What finger length says about testosterone might not apply to all individuals. Also, the study does not shed light on how it exactly affects females. Hence, there is much doubt to this theory and people should not blindly trust a single ratio.


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