You may already have heard of this, but if you haven’t, give it a try. Hold out your hands. Look at the index finger of one hand and compare its length to the ring finger of the same hand. Is the ring finger longer, shorter, or the same length?
Allegedly, in women, the lengths tend to be about the same, but in men, the ring finger is usually longer. The reason is supposed to be the action of in utero androgens—the more androgen, the more androgenized you are, with a longer ring finger compared to the index finger.
The “male” pattern is supposed to be more common among homosexual women, while a pattern of having the reverse—a long index finger and shorter ring finger—is supposed to be more common among homosexual men.
As if that weren’t enough, relative finger lengths have been found to be predictors of autism, dyslexia, left-handedness, whether or not you’re going to develop cancer, how musical you are, or whether or not you are good at math. Sounds a bit far-reaching and almost biomedical-like in sweep until you realize that, well, steroid hormones are among those chemicals that can exert organismal effects, touching everything from how long your urethra is to how your brain is organized to the ratio of finger lengths between index and ring.
To me, one of the most interesting observations was the correlation between the ratio of index to ring finger length and the chair status of professional musicians; in male musicians, the lower the ratio (the longer the ring finger compared to index), the higher the status. Researchers with Simon Baron-Cohen have found that autistic children have very low ratios compared to neurotypical children and that the ratios of children with Aspergers fell in between the two groups.
So, yes, I checked around here, and we all have longer ring fingers, myself—thoroughgoing heterosexual female that I am—included. Check here, and you’ll find that at least one board has had trouble finding anyone of neurotypical status to post that they, too, share the longer-ring-finger pattern. One researcher involved in these studies rightfully comments that simply having this pattern isn’t necessarily a predictor of anything, pointing out that while men tend to be taller than women, we don’t use height to figure out what sex you are. But it’s still interesting to me. One thing that comes to mind is simply that our children inherited our general pattern from us, in utero steroid hormone milieu notwithstanding.
What about you? How do your fingers measure up?