- Scientists investigate link between women’s strength and 2D:4D score ratio
- The 2D:4D digit ratio is a measure of the difference between the index finger and the ring finger.
- Experts found that a lower 2D:4D score ratio was related to grip strength in women
- A low 2D:4D score ratio is a sign of greater testosterone exposure in the womb
A new study suggests that women whose index finger is shorter than the ring finger may be stronger.
The researchers looked at the ratio of people’s 2D:4D digits – the difference in length between the index and ring fingers – and how this related to muscle strength.
A low 2D:4D digit ratio (with the index finger shorter than the ring finger) indicates a high exposure to testosterone already in the womb.
The researchers found that in experiments, women with a lower 2D:4D ratio had greater grip strength than women with a 2D:4D ratio.
An index finger that is relatively short compared to the ring finger indicates that one has been exposed to too much testosterone in utero, while a relatively long index finger indicates low exposure to testosterone in the womb.
2D:4D Points Ratio
The 2D:4D digit ratio is a biomarker that reflects a man’s testosterone levels in the womb during pregnancy.
The 2D:4D digit ratio is the ratio between the length of a person’s index finger (2D) and ring finger (4D). It is calculated by dividing the length of the ring finger by the length of the index finger.
A low 2D:4D digit ratio indicates high exposure to testosterone in the womb – and is therefore an indicator of masculinity.
Meanwhile, a high 2D:4D score ratio is said to indicate low exposure to testosterone in the womb – and is therefore an indicator of femininity.
The new study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria and was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B,
They claim that the 2D:4D ratio has already been linked to male power, but so far its relationship with female power has been unclear, he claims.
Study author Katrin Schaefer told MailOnline: ‘Low 2D:4D ratio – and higher prenatal testosterone exposure – is associated with higher grip strength in adulthood.
‘It has been established for men for quite some time, and now we can show the same mechanism for women.’
The team measured the ratio and hand-holding strength of 125 healthy women between the ages of 19 and 31 from a remote region of Austria.
Handgrip strength was measured using a dynamometer – a device with a handle that is often used for routine medical checks of patients’ grip strength.
Decreased hand grip strength is already associated with increased severity of several chronic conditions, including cardiometabolic disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Meanwhile, the ratio of 2D:4D digits was measured using a mobile A4 scanner (Canoscan Lead 200).
The research team took scans of women’s hands (pictured) to find the ratio of their 2D:4D numbers
Overall, academics found a ‘clear association’ between lower 2D:4D score ratios and hand-holding strength among women.
In other words, a longer ring finger (and therefore exposure to more prenatal testosterone in the womb) than the index finger was positively associated with arm strength and therefore muscular fitness.
The researchers say they controlled for potential confounding factors, such as age, environment, ethnicity and exercise, that could have influenced the association.
Overall, they argue in favor of 2D:4D as a biomarker for prenatal testosterone exposure regardless of time. Limitations perceived by other academics in the past.
Hand grip measurements for the study were measured using a Jammer Plus digital hand dynamometer (pictured).
One argument against this is that males have larger body parts including fingers, which affects the 2D:4D ratio.
Study author Sonja Windhager told MailOnline: “We believe this is a reliable biomarker and the best non-invasive biomarker we can use to study humans in general and from a retrospective approach in particular. ”
‘Experimental possibilities in this area are very limited due to ethical reasons.’
Several studies have already been done on how various factors are associated with the 2D:4D ratio.
Earlier this year, researchers in Scandinavia found hungry people with low 2D:4D score ratios to have ‘more masculine food choices’.
This year also, researchers at Swansea University found that children born to mothers with higher than average incomes had a lower 2D:4D score ratio.
How do you measure your 2D:4D ratio?
To measure your finger, straighten it and look at the palm of your hand.
There is a possibility of crease at the base of your index finger and ring finger. Your index finger is likely to have a crease, the ring finger is a band of creases.
Select the crease closest to the palm and a point on the crease in the middle of the base of the finger.
Mark it with a pen. Measure it from the mark to the tip of the finger.
To measure your finger, straighten it and look at the palm of your hand. There is a possibility of crease at the base of your index finger and ring finger. Your index finger is likely to have a crease, the ring finger is a band of crease