The Ring Finger of Athletes

How athletic are you?

Take a look at your dominant hand from the palm side. Is your ring finger longer than your index finger? If so, you may be looking at a “gene marker” for athleticism.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that women with ring fingers longer than their index fingers were more likely to perform better in sports and other athletic activities. In women the ring finger is usually shorter or the same length as the index finger, while in men the ring finger is generally longer.

In the study, hand measurements of 607 female twins aged 25-79 were correlated with the women’s lifetime sporting achievements. The study’s conclusion – examining the ratio between the index and ring fingers of girls could help identify athletic potential at an early age.

In 2001 a similar study of 304 professional soccer players found a significantly larger ring-to-index-finger ratio than a control group of 533 other men. Other studies in men have shown the same ratio can be associated with varied traits such as sexuality and musical ability.

In traditional palmistry, the ring finger is associated with self expression. When it is long, it suggests creativity, an active love life, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Labeled the “Sun” finger, it is a marker of our zest for life and joie de vivre. Let the games begin.

Finger Length & SAT Scores

Are you numerate or literate – better with numbers or with words?

New scientific research claims that a quick look at the lengths of children’s index and ring fingers can predict how well students will perform on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).

Scientists have determined that exposure to testosterone in the womb promotes brain development associated with spatial and mathematical skills. Testosterone also makes the ring finger longer. Similarly, estrogen exposure lengthens the index finger, and strengthens areas of the brain associated with verbal ability.

To test the link to children’s scores on the SAT, scientists photocopied children’s palms and measured the lengths of index and ring fingers. They then compared boys’ and girls’ test performances to finger-length measurements.

Boys tended to have high prenatal testosterone exposure, a longer ring finger, and higher math scores. Girls tended to have higher prenatal estrogen, a longer index finger, and higher literacy scores.

Of course, there are exceptions, eg, girls who are math whizzes and boys who excel in literature. But in general, no matter what their sex, kids with longer ring fingers tend to have higher math scores, while kids with longer index fingers are likely to have higher literacy or verbal scores.