Digit Ratio Survey

I was intrigued by an article I found at the weekend which reports on a (no doubt rigorous) scientific study that claims a connection between the relative lengths of index and ring fingers and the propensity to be promiscuous. The assertion is that people whose ring finger is longer than their index finger like to play around, while those whose index finger is longer than their ring finger are inclined to fidelity. Obviously, since the study involves the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, there can be do doubt whatsoever about its reliablity or scientific credibility, just like the dozens of other things supposed to be correlated with digit ratio. Ahem.

I do remember a similar study some time ago that claimed that men with with a longer index finger (2D) than ring finger (4D) (i.e. with a 2D:4D digit ratio greater than one) were much more likely to be gay than those with a digit ratio lower than one. Taken with this new finding it proves what we all knew all along: that heterosexuals are far more likely to be promiscuous than homosexuals.

For the record, here is a photograph of my left hand (which, on reflection, is similar to my right, and which clearly shows a 2D:4D ratio greater than unity):


Inspired by the stunning application of the scientific method described in the report, I have decided to carry out a rigorous study of my own. I have heard that, at least among males, it is much more common to have digit ratio less than one than greater than one but I can’t say I’ve noticed it myself. Furthermore previously unanswered question in the literature is whether there is a connection between digit ratio and the propensity to read blogs. I will know subject this to rigorous scientific scrutiny by inviting readers of this blog to complete the following simply survey. I look forward to publishing my findings in due course in the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

PS. The actual paper on which the report was based is by Rafael Wlodarski, John Manning, and R. I. M. Dunbar,


3 Responses to “Digit Ratio Survey”

  1. Phillip Helbig Says:

    My ratio is definitely less than 1, with the right hand being lower than the left one. The XD:5D ratio is quite different between the two hands, for what that’s worth.

    Believe it or not, I read in a comment on Andy Lawrence’s blog (by the way, what has happened to the Squire’s presence in ye olde blogosphere?) by Martin Elvis saying that he, Elvis, has a collection of pictures of astronomers’ feet. Really. Which reminds me that my second toes are longer than the big ones. This is somewhat uncommon among most people, but probably varies by location. However, it is very common in Renaissance art. I am not aware of any studies linking it to any sort of behaviour.

    Actually, one shouldn’t concentrate too much on the length. No, I don’t mean “feel the width”. 🙂 Rather, in both fingers and toes, it is not only the length which determines which protrudes, but also how it is connected to the hand or foot. In particular, most people with a “long second toe” (also known as Morton’s toe) actually have similar ratios as other people, but the big toe begins farther back on the foot.


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