Women's Finger Length Reveals a Secret

The length of a woman's ring finger in relation to her index finger reveals her ability to do well--or not--at sports. Specifically, if the ring finger is longer than the index finger, she's the one you'll want to pick for your sports team.

That's the word from a quirky study conducted by Dr. Tim Spector, a medical doctor and professor with the twin research and genetic epidemiology unit at St. Thomas's Hospital and King's College London.

Britain's Independent newspaper reports that unlike men, most women have ring fingers that are shorter or the same length as their index fingers. A longer ring finger is actually quite unusual for females. Mind you, the length of the finger is not important; what is important is the ratio between the ring and index fingers. Previous research has shown that many personality characteristics can be revealed by looking at the finger ratio, including sexuality, fertility, intelligence, aggressiveness and even musical talent.

Spector is no quack. He has always dismissed such claims. "I didn't believe this stuff. Most of the studies were based on small numbers, and the findings could easily be spurious," he told Independent health editor Jeremy Laurance.

So he decided to test it for himself using a large database on twins that he has been developing and using for research for 20 years. Using X-rays of the hands of 607 female twins ages 25 to 79, Spector then compared the lengths of their index and ring fingers. The women provided him with their highest level of achievement in 12 sports: swimming, cycling, running, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, squash, golf, skiing, soccer, cricket and martial arts.

The results? Those whose ring fingers were longer than their index fingers were better at most sports and particularly excelled at sports that involved running, especially soccer and tennis.

He admits he was surprised by the findings. Some scientists believe it is caused by a higher level of testosterone in the womb, but Spector thinks genetics are also involved.

The study findings were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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