Martijn van Mensvoort -  Hand Research

MARCH 12, 2009

Five things that your 5 fingers can tell you!

Professor John Manning explains in his book 'The Finger Ratio' how the finger length ratio of the index finger and ring finger (= the '2D:4D digit ratio') is related to the 'Big five':
human development, sports, social behavior, disease and your sex-life!

Research: what fingers tell about people!
How you can measure the '2D:4D digit ratio' of your fingers!

Take 5: five things that your 5 fingers can tell you.

Hands, fingers & digit ratio.

Recently research pointed out in the hands of financial experts: the longer the ring finger in relation to his index finger, the greater the chance that the person is a successful stock trader. This was some time ago in the news, after examination by the University of Cambridge on the hands of market traders in a London Stock Exchange. But there is more. John Manning is a professor at the University of Swansea and he wrote the book "The Finger Ratio. His book shows that the length of your fingers (2D:4D digit ratio) tells you much more than you might think:


The human thumb has historically been described as a 'marker' for the evolution of human kind; but the human race is also featured with the relative long index finger compared to the ring finger. That is because we, during our stay in the womb, absorb low amounts of testosterone in comparison with a higher amount of estrogen. These differences are in relation to our complex social life, including a large dose of empathy and sensitivity towards others is expected. The species most similar to us, the chimpanzee and gorilla, is different. They have long ring fingers and a short index finger.


Exceptional performances in sports and - as stated above - excellence in the financial domain are being linked to the amount of male hormones that people absorb before birth while they stay in the womb. The higher exposure to testosterone and other male hormones, the lower the '2D:4D digit ratio' - or the ratio between the pointer finger and ring finger. This ratio was also used to predict performances in sports leagues. Research from the university of Cambridge points out that financial traders with the lowest '2D:4D digit ratios' have earned 11 times more money than stock traders with a relatively high finger ratio - see the picture below.

Earnings of stock traders at the London Stock Exchange appears to be related to their finger length.


Long index fingers (pointer finger) appear to be related to significant social behavior and a strong development of empathy for the feelings of others and yourself. These relationships can best be observed among children, where short index fingers may indicate a lack of empathic ability. Other studies indicate that such children have a greater risk for other disorders during their development.


There is growing evidence that our finger ratios are a reliable predictor of our receptiveness to diseases. Yet, some caution should be considered; the studies prove interesting in theory but in practice they are not significant when it comes to real people who's risk to be identified. Some studies are linking long ring fingers to: the polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, osteo-atrhritis and different developmental disorders in males - like for example: autism. Long point fingers may then be linked to cervical cancer, breast cancer and schizophrenia.


Men with long ring fingers, consider themselves as attractive. Studies show that women in the general rule agree and confirm the judgements of these men. Interestingly, women who have long ring fingers also find themselves attractive. What men think about that is not yet studied. However, these conclusions remain rather sensitive because large numbers of the population must be studied before one can speak of a solid trend. Men with long ring fingers have normally larger families, while women with larger families more often will have a long index finger. These features were clearly observed in societies with highly developed forms of birth control.

Hoe wordt de '2D:4D digit ratio' gemeten? HOW YOU CAN MEASURE THE '2D:4D DIGIT RATIO' OF YOUR FINGERS!

Step 1: measure the full length of your index finger and your ring finger (see the picture);

stap 2: calculate the '2D:4D digit ratio' = the ratio between the length of the index finger and the ring finger; in most people this results in a value between: 0.90 and 1.05.

Source: (BE)

Dutch version:
Vijf zaken die uw 5 vingers over u vertellen: evolutie, sport, sociaal gedrag, ziekte & sex


Related sources:
John Manning presents: 'The Finger Book'
Research: finger digit ratio is related to financial success
Body height, finger length & male vs. female differences
Finger length indicates athletic success
What our fingers can tell us
Finger length & sexuality: the science of Gaydar
Five things your 5 fingers can tell you: evolution, sports, social behavior, disease and sex



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