…big gloves? Not quite, in fact it’s the ring finger we’re actually interested in.
According to researchers from the University of Florida, the length of a man’s ring finger is in fact linked to his sexual drive. The article posted on The Daily Mail Online reports that the length is determined by a growing foetus’s exposure to testosterone in the womb. This means it also applies to women and is the reason the fairer sex tend to have a smaller ring finger than their index, while the opposite is often true for men.
Behavioural links have been cited in the past between the length of a man’s fourth finger and aggression, athleticism and sexual orientation, but also biologically in terms of sperm count, for example.
In the experiment carried out by the scientists, the levels of the sex hormones (i.e. oestrogen and testosterone) in pregnant mice was genetically controlled. The hind paws of the resultant baby mice, apparently the equivalent of a human left hand, were found to have a larger fourth finger in the males and the opposite in the females.
This study ‘of mice and men’ may actually pave the way for potential medical benefits outside of behavioural science, as a lot of tumours are ‘androgen sensitive’, which means their aggressive growth is proportionally related to the their exposure to sex hormones – breast and prostate cancer are good examples of potential targets – so watch this space.