Insert fingering joke here.

A new study says that the length of a woman’s ring finger “could be an easy way to tell if she has future sports potential.” Obviously.

Researchers at King’s College London conducted a study of 607 adult female twins in the U.K., comparing finger measurements with a woman’s achievements in sports.
They found that women with ring fingers longer than their index fingers — a trait commonly seen in men — performed better at running and sports involving running, such as tennis and soccer.

File this under…huh?

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16 Comments

  1. kgsavoie
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hmm, this calls to mind the 2000 study that found the same trait was associated with lesbians: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/695142.stm
    The idea is that “higher levels of androgen – male sex hormones – in the womb influence both finger length and sexual orientation,” according the sexuality study.

  2. Kris
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    my ring finger is longer than my index finger, and I am the slowest runner I know.
    seems like a silly study to me, and a waste of time.

  3. squip
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The idea is that “higher levels of androgen – male sex hormones – in the womb influence both finger length and sexual orientation,” according the sexuality study.
    Ya that’s the prevailing belief, that more androgens => longer ring fingers. I also remember hearing somewhere that in males fetuses, androgens also affect the development of the cardiovascular system, such that there’s a strong positive correlation between finger length and cardiovascular fitness, as measured by the incidence of heart disease. That factoid sounds vaguely relevant here.

  4. Posted September 29, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Kris: I don’t think they’re indicating running *speed* — I believe they just mean adeptness and agility.
    You know, athletic ability. My ring fingers are both longer than my index fingers. I am a lesbian *and* I played volleyball, field hockey, basketball and softball… not too badly, either. :)

  5. kgsavoie
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there’s a cortrelation between long ring fingers and likelihood of being a feministing reader.

  6. Posted September 29, 2006 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I just checked — it looks like my right ring finger is longer than my ring index finger, but on my left hand they’re about the same.
    I’m straight, but I don’t like most men I meet. I’m horrible at sports.
    I’ve never much bought into the theory that genes can tell you much more than what you’ll look like or what diseases you’re prone to…

  7. Vervain
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Ok…do any of the women here have ring and index fingers of equal length? I honestly thought that having a longer ring finger was true of everybody.

  8. prairielily
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Adeptness, ability, speed… my ring finger is longer than my index finger, and I’m lacking in all three areas.
    I’m quite good at reading feministing, though.

  9. Ismone
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Both of my ring fingers are shorter than both of my index fingers. I’m not a completely worthless athlete…
    Iz

  10. Posted September 29, 2006 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    My ring finger’s a bit longer than my index finger, and my athletic capabilities are slightly better than the average elephant’s.

  11. Posted September 29, 2006 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I recently took the “nerd test” and got a 91% nerd rating…
    AND, my ring fingers are so short, they aren’t THAT much longer than my pinkys. AND I have a terrible cardiovascular system and a moderately serious heart condition.
    So this study seems to define me pretty well. In addition to having no wind and no stamina, I am nearsighted too. I am the girl no one ever wanted on thier team, ever, ever, EVER.
    As an adult, I swim and lift weights, so I am strong and fit. But I do completely suck at sports.

  12. Carlie
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    We do this in intro bio classes. It’s genetic. It’s one gene. Either ring finger’s longer, or index finger’s longer, and if they’re equal, there’s another gene that masks the effect (IIRC). One single gene, that controls nothing other than finger length. Interestingly, it’s sex-influenced, so regardless of which gene you have, the amount of testosterone you produce influences it. I think it’s males with the dominant gene have an index finger longer, and females with the dominant gene have the ring finter longer, but I don’t quite remember.

  13. Carlie
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    We do this in intro bio classes. It’s genetic. It’s one gene. Either ring finger’s longer, or index finger’s longer, and if they’re equal, there’s another gene that masks the effect (IIRC). One single gene, that controls nothing other than finger length. Interestingly, it’s sex-influenced, so regardless of which gene you have, the amount of testosterone you produce influences it. I think it’s males with the dominant gene have an index finger longer, and females with the dominant gene have the ring finter longer, but I don’t quite remember.

  14. nonwhiteperson
    Posted September 30, 2006 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    I’m quite good at reading feministing, though.
    hee hee

  15. Posted September 30, 2006 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Well,if women insist on doing well at sports,we have to find SOME to way to make them honourary men.
    This is the sort of psychologically transparent pseudo-science which is going to end up being mocked for centuries to come.

  16. Posted September 30, 2006 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s not joke. Finger lengths have to do with infusion of testosterone while human is in embryo stage. I first learned of it while working with Lyle McDonald (bodyrecomposition.com) who trains lifters and often works with women (e.g., one of the older female lifters he trained was Elzi Volk, a biologist finishing up her PhD last I knew).
    I wrote about it awhile back: Chixor Dixor Continuum
    I think the information is useful if we want to challenge claim about sexual dimorphism. The sexed body may be more accurately understood as a continuum than an opposition: female v male.

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