Finger Length 'Key To Aggression'
The length of a man's fingers can reveal how
physically aggressive he is, Canadian scientists have said.
The shorter the index finger is compared to the
ring finger, the more boisterous he will be, University of Alberta
But the same was not true for verbal aggression
or hostile behaviours, they told the journal Biological Psychology
after studying 300 people's fingers.
The trend is thought to be linked to testosterone
exposure in the womb.
It has been known for some time that there is
a direct correlation between finger lengths and the amount of
the male sex hormone testosterone that a baby is exposed to in
In women, the two fingers are usually almost
equal in length, as measured from the crease nearest the palm
to the fingertip. In men, the ring finger tends to be much longer
than the index.
Other studies looking at finger length ratio
have suggested that, in men, a long ring finger and symmetrical
hands are an indication of fertility, and that women are more
likely to be fertile if they have a longer index finger.
One study found boys with shorter ring fingers
tended to be at greatest risk of a heart attack in early adulthood,
which was linked to testosterone levels.
In the current study, Dr Peter Hurd and his student
Allison Bailey measured the fingers of 300 undergraduates at their
Men with the shortest index fingers scored higher
on measures of physical aggression than those with longer index
fingers, but the study's findings did not apply to women.
Dr Hurd is now looking at male hockey players
to see whether there is any correlation between finger lengths
and each player's penalty record for contact and fouling during
Window to the soul?
He has also been looking at whether men with
more feminine finger lengths might be more prone to depression.
He said: "Finger length can tell you a little
bit about where personality comes from.
"A large part of our personalities and our traits
are determined while we are still in the womb."
But he said finger length should not be used
to draw too many conclusions about an individual person.
"For example, you wouldn't want to screen people
for certain jobs based on their finger lengths."
Professor John Manning from the University of
Central Lancashire's department of psychology, who first realised
that sex hormone exposure in the womb influences finger length,
He said certain individual characteristics correlate
better with finger length than others.
"For example, if you had a group of runners and
they were about to start a race I could predict reasonably well
who was going to win based on their finger length.
"But I would not be able to predict whether someone
was neurotic or not."
He said Dr Hurd's findings were logical based
on what we know about finger length, testosterone exposure and
aggression, but said more research was needed to confirm the findings.
He said another recent study had found women
exposed to higher levels of testosterone in the womb, and hence
a more 'male' pattern of finger length, displayed more frustrated
behaviour when answering challenging telephone calls than other
Reference Source 108