Judging a Man by His Fingers

Health Writer

Your fingers can tell a lot about you. They can predict whether you will get certain diseases, whether you are straight or gay and, according to a recent McGill University, Canada  study, how a man treats women. In the study, men with shorter index fingers and longer ring finger were nicer toward women than men with longer index fingers.

The length of your index and ring fingers is determined before birth. It is thought to be affected by how much testosterone they are exposed to in the womb. Those exposed to higher levels of testosterone will have longer ring fingers. Those with "smaller digit ratios," the length of the index finger divided by the length of the ring finger, indicates a higher level of male hormones during pregnancy.

The  recent study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, showed men with smaller digit ratios were nicer toward women. The researchers followed 155 participants for 20 days. During this time, participants were asked to complete checklists of behaviors during social interactions that lasted five minutes or more. The researchers then characterized the behaviors as either agreeable or quarrelsome. Men with smaller digit ratios reported more agreeable behaviors than those with larger digit ratios overall. When interacting with women, men with smaller digit ratios were more attentive and were more likely to laugh, smile and compliment the women.

A previous study showed a correlation between finger ratio and children - men with smaller digit ratios had more children, possibly because they have more harmonious relationships with women. Surprisingly, the scientists did not find any link between dominant behaviors and finger length, however an article on  Discover Magazine's websiteindicates that men with shorter index fingers are more physically aggressive (more likely to pick fights) and more verbally aggressive.

Some other interesting things your fingers can reveal:

Math and reading skills_  -_  A smaller digit ratio (longer ring fingers) indicates a higher level of skills in math, while larger digit ratios indicated a higher level of verbal and literacy skills.

Arthritis - A study completed at the  University of Nottingham  showed those with ring fingers longer than their index finger are more at risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Risk taking - Men (this one only applies to men) with longer ring fingers tend to take more risks.  Discovery Magazine  indicates that "the most successful financial traders tend to have the longest fourth fingers."

Sexual orientation - A  study at UC Berkeley  found that gay women tend to have shorter index fingers however this was not seen in gay men.

Sports aptitude -  Dr. John Manning  found that those with longer ring fingers were more likely to be better at sports. This was especially true for middle and long-distance runners.

For information on healthy relationships:

6 Necessary Ingredients for a Healthy Relationship

Healthy Relationships: Four General Principles to Live By

8 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Relationship Despite Chronic Illness

Talking to Your Teen About Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships