Like a lot of fathers, I would be thrilled if my daughter displayed the traits of a world-class tennis player or basketball player. Heck, I’d be excited if she turned into a golf pro. Deep inside I know none of the above might happen and that’s fine with me. I love my kid anyway. But thanks to a recent study conducted by researchers at Kings College London, any guess-work on my part regarding my daughter’s athletic prowess can be solved with a simple look at the length of her fingers.
You heard correctly. The length of a woman’s ring finger may be an easy way to tell if she has future sports potential.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine (www.bjsm.bmj.com), an in-depth study involving 607 adult female twins in the United Kingdom compared finger measurements with a woman’s achievements in sports. In the largest study of its kind, hand measurements of 607 female twins aged 25-79 from the UK were compared with the women’s lifetime sporting achievements.
I’m not sure what the impact of using twins is. But then, I’m not the one conducting the research.
The findings revealed that women with ring fingerslonger than their index fingers — a trait commonly seen in men — performed better at running and sports involving running, such as tennis and soccer. The report goes on to say that detection of sporting potential by examining the ratio between the index and ring fingers could help identify talented individuals at a pre-competitive stage.
That’s pretty exciting. My daughter has really long fingers! Hay, maybe there’s hope for her yet!
But wait — there’s more.
In women, the ring finger is usually shorterthan or the same length as the index finger, while the ring finger is usually longer in men.
Fortunately I’m not the only one who doesn’t quite understand this finger correlation. But experts involved in the Kings College study have pointed out that finger length is inherited — apparently set before birth and remaining constant throughout one’s lifetime. The genes that impact such growth have yet to be discovered (at least for now).
According to an article ion SportsGeezer.com (www.sportsgeezer.com) , previous studies on relative finger length have focused on men. For example one study of note — and published in 2001 — involved 304 English professional soccer players who were found to have a significantly larger ring-to-index-finger ratio than a control group of 533 other men. The ratio of ring finger to index finger length could be associated with traits such as sexuality, musical ability, sperm count and disease vulnerability.
Up until now, the only thing correlation I ever heard about involved big feet on a man. (And that’s a story for another time).
O-k…so let’s do our own test! Take a look at your right-hand. Which finger is longer, your ring finger or your index finger? How do you stand up?
According to research performed by the Missouri Western State University Department of Psychology (www.missouriwestern.edu) a greater portion of men have shorter index fingers than ring fingers compared to women. This difference in length is commonly referred to as the “digit ratio” and can be applied not only to fingers but to toes as well and is typically measured from the bottom crease where the finger joins the hand to the tip of the finger.
Surprisingly there is a lot that you can tell about a person from their finger length. According to an article in Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com) there is evidence to suggest that the length between the ring and index finger is somewhat sexually dimorphic, meaning the ratio is determined during early fetal development, and is influenced by sex hormones, particularly testosterone. The research at Kings College suggests that if females are introduced to more testosterone they have a greater possibility of becoming bisexual, more masculine, and are more aggressive and assertive. If they are introduced to more estrogen they are more fertile, have higher lifetime reproductive success, and a higher risk of breast cancer.
Hey all I want to know is if my kid can get a basketball scholarship or not!
A child may demonstrate the potential to do a lot of things, but following through on that potential depends on a lot of variables — fate, destiny and maybe more than a little bit of luck. So my daughter has long fingers. In theory, she could be a good athlete (like her parents were when they were younger) but to make the leap from good amateur to well-honed professional? As a parent, I’m more concerned that she just gets a decent education.