Finger length may indicate athletic ability

High levels of the male hormone, testosterone, cause the fourth finger of unborn children to grow more than the second. This explains why men usually have proportionately longer fourth fingers than women do. Scientists can use the length of the fourth finger to tell which women were exposed to higher levels of testosterone before they were born. Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England showed that women whose fourth finger is much longer than their second were faster cross country runners in races of one to four miles (American Journal of Human Biology, May-June 2007).

The finger length was measured from the bottom crease where the finger joins the hand to the tip of the finger. Men are typically bigger and stronger than women, and have larger muscles and bones, because of their higher testosterone levels. Testosterone helps people to recover faster from hard workouts, so they can do more work and become better athletes. Women exposed to higher levels of testosterone in utero have higher ratios of their fourth to second fingers and often are better athletes.


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