Personality, Physique, Sex and Fingers

Want to know your prenatal androgen exposure level?

I mean: want to know how much of a testosterone-fuelled beast you are?

Well, do this then:

  1. Measure the length of your index finger (2nd finger) from the crease at the base to the tip. Not including nails. That’s cheating.
  2. Now measure the length of your ring finger (4th finger).
  3. Do it for both hands, just for interest.
  4. Now get a calculator (unless you are Rain Man).
  5. Divide the length of your index by the length of your ring (finger). You should end up with a number between about 0.90 and 1.10.
  6. Do it for both hands, just for interest. They should be similar, but your dominant hand is the more important number for this game.

The Results

NOTE: Ethnicity plays a big part here, so find someone else to compare with for real fun. The interpretations below are for white Caucasians. Other populations have relatively lower or higher ratios – doesn’t mean they are more or less mannish!

If you are a MAN:

  • 0.98 is the average.
  • 0.94 is macho.
  • 1.00 is more feminine.

If you are a WOMAN:

  • 1.00 is average.
  • 0.98 is more masculine.
  • 1.02 is girly.

This test for testosterone and oestrogen exposure has been demonstrated in humans since the 1930s. And, since 2006, in pheasants.

What does this mean?

IMPORTANT: Much of the evidence for the traits below is tentative or based on single trials. Don’t take anything too much to heart! These results show tendencies, not hard and fast rules. But it’s still interesting.

While the ratio interpretations above are for ethnic white Caucasians, the conclusions below hold true across ethnic boundaries.

Personality Traits

  • People with a low ratio tend to have low verbal intelligence, high numerical intelligence and low ‘agreeableness’.
  • Men with higher ratios tend to do better in exams.
  • Men with a low ratio are more likely to be aggressive. This doesn’t hold for women, though.
  • Male traders on the stock market are more likely to be profitable and stay in the business for longer if they have a low ratio. Biology and experience come out about equal as predictors of success. Which is incredible really. Men with lower ratios are better at ‘rapid visuomotor scanning,’ physical reflexes and are happier with exposure to risk.
  • Men with a low ratio are more likely to suffer from attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Men with a high ratio are more likely to be depressive.

Sexual Traits

  • Women with a higher ratio have a higher sexual success rate.
  • Women with a low ratio are more likely to report a ‘male sex-role’ in the bedroom.
  • Men with a low ratio tend to have a higher sperm count. Men with a high ratio are more likely to suffer germ cell failure, which sounds painful.
  • The ratio is not a good predictor of sexualilty, however – in either men or women.

Physical Traits

  • Women with lower ratios are more likely to play sports, and to play them at a high level.
  • Men with lower ratios are more physically competitive. Professional footballers have lower ratios than amateurs; footballers who played for the England national squad (i.e. ‘the best’) have lower ratios than those who haven’t.


FYI: I got all of these trials by following the footnotes in the Wikipedia article on Digit Ratio.

For what it’s worth, my ratio is 0.93. Man.

3 thoughts on “Personality, Physique, Sex and Fingers”

  1. Very well written article. Interestingly, the picture of you in the banner of this webpage screams high levels of testosterone in utero too – the strong brow, high cheekbones, thin upper lip and large lower jaw are all classic signs of high testosterone exposure in the womb. This tallies with the 0.93 digit ratio, which is generally the sort of ratio you’d expect to see in Olympic athletes and Premiership footballers. Despite the tongue in cheek nature of this article, there is actually a lot of evidence to support the digit ratio theory. I’d be willing to bet that you’ve always had a natural aptitude for sport and music, are competitive and risk-taking by nature, have no problems attracting women and are left-handed…

  2. Ha ha – thank you! And you’re almost exactly right – except I’m not left-handed!

    Jokes aside, everyone is a jumble of chemical and social influences and we shouldn’t judge a person by their testosterone levels. But it is all very interesting.

    Thanks for your comment, Mark.

  3. Very interesting article. And much easier to understand.
    I’m female. My ratio is 1.2, as far as I remember.

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