How to assess your masculinity/femininity?


Last updated: 11 december 2016
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During the 1st decade of the 21th century 2D:4D Digit ratio became known as a popular measure for masculinity (associated with low digit ratios) and feminity (associated with high digit ratios). Discover your MASCULINITY/FEMININITY hand factor by combining your digit ratio with your hand shape ratios!

2D:4D digit ratio is considered as a measure for prenatal hormone balance (testosterone versus estrogen - see picture below), which largely explains why digit ratios typically vary between men (lower scores) and women (higher scores).

2D:4D digit ratio and hormones: the testosterone / estrogen balance.

Multiple studies have revealed that lower 2D:4D ratio correlates with more masculine sex-role type, while higher 2D:4D ratio correlates more feminine sex-role type.

Digit ratio is not a reliable indicator for recognizing sex in an individual: female example of a low digit ratio. However, the 2D:4D digit ratio not only varies between the two sexes; for, it also varies with many other features such as: race/ethnicity, class, skin color & body height. As a consequence, in an individual 2D:4D digit ratio does not represent a reliable measure for MASCULINITY/FEMININITY (see picture on the right, which includes a female who has a low digit ratio).

Therefore a new approach is presented here to assess the MASCULINITY/FEMININITY factor for any hand in 3 steps by combining the 2D:4D digit ratio with three (other) hand shape ratios.

Why 2D:4D digit ratio doesn't represent a reliable measure

The picture below displays the variation of 2D:4D digit ratio between the sexes: the average digit ratio around the world is close to 0.96. Men tend to have lower digit ratios than women, but the overlap in the distribution of digit ratios among the sexes is very large. As a consequence 2D:4D digit ratio can not be used as reliable indicator for MASCULINITY/FEMININITY in an individual.

Distribution of 2D:4D digit ratio between men and women.

Smaller 2D:4D digit ratios (0.95 or smaller) are an indication of greater exposure to prenatal testosterone and might therefore be considered a measure of masculinity. Similarly, larger digit ratios (0.98 or higher) result from greater exposure to oestrogen and therefore might be thought of as an indicative measure of femininity. However, the overlap between the two sexes is considerably large.

Finger length & palm shape ratios represent also a measure

In the section finger Length & sexual dimorphism one can read more about how finger length and palm shape dimenisions tend to vary between males and females.

Females not only to tend to have higher 2D:4D digit ratio, they also tend to have higer finger length to palm length ratios (fl/pl), higher finger length to palm breadth ratios (fl/pb), and higher palm length to palm width ratios (pl/pb).

Especially the so-called 'hand index' (= ratio between palm breadth and hand length) became known as a usefull indicator to discriminate male hands from female hands. Quite a few studies (US, Nigeria) have indicated that males typically have 'hand index' scores above 0.44, while females tend to have scores below 0.44. However, in some other populations this rule does not work at all.

Hands. A study in 7 international populations (including populations from: China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Turkey, UK and US) has indicated that combining the 4 hand shape ratios (2D:4D digit ratio, fl/pl, fl/pb and pl/pb) turns out to be an interesting measure to recognize men and women who's hands score low/high on the MASCULINITY/FEMININITY factor.

The picture at the bottom of this page describes how to find your MASCULINITY/FEMININITY hand factor... in only 3 steps!

Find the MASCULINITY/FEMININITY factor in your hand in 3 steps!:

DECEMBER 2016: A brand new study is available demonstrating that this chart works for 10 famous (masculine) males!

Find the MASCULINITY/FEMININITY factor in your hands in 3 steps!

Martijn van Mensvoort - Hand Research

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