Latest Finger Length Study Measures the "Politeness" of Men
There are groups of researchers who to study the human hand in an attempt to identify certain behavioral patterns or traits in people. Specifically, they like to compare the 2nd digit (index finger) and 4th digit (ring finger) on a person’s hand to discern all sorts of information including (but not limited to) sexual orientation, penis length, aggressive behavior tendencies, athleticism, disposition to believing in the paranormal, risk of disease, attractiveness, and entrepreneurship. These reports sometimes read like a modern form of a horoscope. It conjures up mental images of palm readers, phrenologists, rumpologists (butt-reading), and other body-based fortune tellers.
The latest addition to the pile of studies about finger length ratios has to do with determining the “politeness” of men. A recent McGill University study claims men with shorter index fingers and longer ring fingers are (on average) nicer towards women. The researchers claim this phenomenon stems from the hormones these men have been exposed to in their mother’s womb. Men with small digit ratios reported approximately a third more agreeable behaviors and approximately a third fewer quarrelsome behaviors than men with large digit ratios. The study’s findings also suggest a possible correlation between finger ratios and the number of children a man sires.
Men’s index fingers are generally shorter than their ring fingers. The difference is less pronounced in women. Previous research has found that digit ratio — defined as the second digit length divided by the fourth digit length — is an indication of the amount of male hormones, chiefly testosterone, someone has been exposed to as a fetus: the smaller the ratio, the more male hormones. The McGill study suggests that this has an impact on how adult men behave, especially with women.
While there is an established correlation between testosterone and finger length in men, it should not to be confused with the ability to look at a man’s fingers and assess an accurate estimate of testosterone levels. As such, people should be very careful not to “judge a book by its cover” and try to determine the potential “niceness” of a man by looking at his fingers. These kinds of studies are interesting exercises where actual science mixes with subjectivity , biases, and variabilities.
The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.