Is there any truth to the claim that people who have ring fingers that are longer than their index fingers are attracted to the opposite sex?

In other words, in the picture below, the hand on the left belongs to a heterosexual person, while the hand on the right belongs to a homosexual person

enter image description here

  • 6
    As in, always? I assume the claim allows for some flexibility in identification. If not, I provide a counter-example to the claim and we can debunk it with a picture.
    – MrHen
    Jun 7, 2011 at 0:03
  • Hmm... I would think that the claim would be valid for the majority of people; every rule has an exception :) Jun 7, 2011 at 0:25
  • @MrHen - Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! Just kidding. By the way, @Gustavo you do seem to need a qualifier in that claim as @MrHen suggests, such as 'always', 'sometimes', 'never'. It's trivially true as the question now stands as some people meeting that criterion are attracted to the opposite sex.
    – user2466
    Jun 7, 2011 at 1:09
  • 1
    @jwenting maybe you are but just haven't realised it yet ;)
    – Ardesco
    Jun 7, 2011 at 9:28
  • 2
    So, if you have one hand with bigger index and other one with bigger ring finger, you're bi. :P
    – cregox
    Jul 28, 2011 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


As an example, see this study:


Finger-length ratios and sexual orientation (Department of Psychology and Graduate Groups Neuroscience, Endocrinology, UCB)

Our results suggest that events before birth (or even before conception in the case of older brothers) influence human sexual orientation. The masculinized right-hand 2D:4D ratio in homosexual women may reflect fetal androgen levels that are slightly higher than in heterosexual women. Homosexual men without older brothers have 2D:4D ratios indistinguishable from heterosexual eldest sons, indicating that factors other than fetal androgen (such as genetic influences[8], [9]) also contribute to sexual orientation. Finger measures indicate that men with more elder brothers, including those men who develop a homosexual orientation, might be exposed to greater than normal levels of prenatal androgen.

.8. Bailey, J. M. & Pillard, R. C. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 48, 1089-1096 (1991). Links

.9. Hamer, D. D., Hu, S., Magnuson, V. L., Hu, N. & Pattatucci, A. M. L. Science 261, 321-327 (1993). Links

A more layman's summary of the same study from BBC:

Scientists from California found that lesbian women have a greater difference in length between their ring finger and index finger than straight women do.

The same pattern was also found for homosexual men - but only when the researchers looked at those males that had several older brothers.

Please note that the study did not indicate direct causality, merely correlation, though it did propose a theory deriving the higher likelyhood of both traits (finger length ration and homosexuality) from the same underlying cause - fetal androgens.

  • @DVK unrelated, but I have a friend who has a deliberately awful metal band (think spinal Tap) and is looking for a name, I'm going to suggest they use homofinger/homo_finger. Jun 7, 2011 at 5:21
  • Awesome DVK! This is exactly the type of correlation studies that I was looking for! Jun 7, 2011 at 5:34
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    @jwenting it's not necessarily extraordinary, it's epigenetics, which, last time I checked is still listed in the dictionary quite snugly between conjecture and evidence:) Jun 7, 2011 at 6:27
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    "It's well known that growing up in a homosexual environment increases your chances of becoming one yourself." Eh, what? Got a reference for that? The nearest I can find, from Abigail Garner's Families Like Mine, is that you might be more likely to experiment, and more likely to reject labels altogether.
    – TRiG
    Jul 26, 2011 at 23:55
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    'the entire question was about causality.' Well, the title certainly wasn't, just to begin with. 'Your "report" claims [...] that longer fingers are a symptom of homosexuality.' No, it doesn't. But its a nice trick to put report in scare-quotes to cast doubt on it being legitimate. Of course, it was only published in Nature, so it was probably just a slap dash bit of research...
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 29, 2011 at 12:39

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