Can you judge a man by the length of his fingers? Apparently, yes. Findings from a study have suggested a link between the relative lengths of index and ring fingers in men and their corresponding behaviour, including relational attitudes toward women.
Accordingly, men with shorter index fingers and longer ring fingers are on average nicer toward women. Several researchers on so-called digit ratio support this phenomenon.
Digit ratio is the quantitative or measurable relationship between the index and ring fingers. Particularly, the measurement is calculated by dividing the length of the second digit by the length of the fourth digit.
Earlier researches have revealed that digit ratio is an indicator of male hormone exposure levels, particularly testosterone, during the formation of fetus whilst in the womb. A smaller ratio indicates more exposure to testosterone.
In a new study, researchers from McGill University found out that the same level of exposure to testosterone or in other words, biological development in fetal life eventually influences behaviour of adult men—particularly a behaviour that corresponds to their relationship with women.
“It is fascinating to see that moderate variations of hormones before birth can actually influence adult behaviour in a selective way,” said Simon Young, one of the researchers and emeritus professor in psychology at McGill University.
Although several researches have been conducted to assess the impact of digit ration on adult behaviour, the McGill University study is the first to gauge and thereby, to highlight the impact of male finger lengths on behaviour toward women.
The study specifically involved event contingent recording to investigate the relation between the 2D:4D ratio and social behaviour. Participants completed multiple records of their behaviour in events in naturalistic settings. The records included information about situational features such as the gender of the person with whom the person was interacting.
“When with women, men with smaller ratios were more likely to listen attentively, smile and laugh, compromise or compliment the other person,” said Debbie Moskowitz, lead author and professor of psychology at McGill University. These men acted this way not only in sexual relationships but also in relationships with female colleagues. They were also less likely to engage in argument with women while more likely to do so with other men.
Men with larger ratios were equally quarrelsome to both women and men.
For women, finger length and digit ratio did not seem to predict their behaviour and treatment toward the opposite sex.
A previous study also revealed that men with smaller digit ratios tend to have more children. According to the researchers, their study is suggestive of the fact that these men have more harmonious relationship with women and thus, influencing why they have more children on average.
Further details of the study are found in the article “Fetal exposure to androgens, as indicated by digit ratios (2D:4D), increases men’s agreeableness with women” published in 2015 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.