Entries in Ring Finger (2)


Penis Size Linked to Finger Length, Researchers Find

BananaStock/Thinkstock(INCHEON, South Korea) -- The longer a man's index finger when compared with his ring finger, the longer the length of his penis, according to Korean researchers.

The research team, led by urologist Dr. Tae Beom Kim from Gachon University in Incheon, Korea, measured the fingers and penises -- both stretched-out and flaccid -- of 144 men who were anesthetized before undergoing urological surgery.

Men's ring fingers are usually longer than their index fingers.  But Kim and colleagues linked a larger gap in finger length -- a lower 2D:4D ratio -- to a longer stretched-out penis.

"Based on this evidence, we suggest that digit ratio can predict adult penile size, and that the effects of prenatal testosterone may in part explain the differences in adult penile length," the researchers reported Monday in the Asian Journal of Andrology.

The length of the penis when stretched is believed to correlate to its erect length, the team reported.

Earlier studies suggest the 2D:4D ratio is governed by prenatal exposure to the male and female sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen.  Women tend to have ring and index fingers of roughly equal length -- a result of less testosterone exposure in the womb, report the Korean researchers.

But men who have relatively long ring fingers are thought to have been exposed to high levels of testosterone in utero, and this has been linked to aggression, athleticism, sexuality, intelligence, and even the ability to trade high-stakes stocks.  It has also been linked to a higher risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, prostate cancer and arthritis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: Lou Gehrig's Disease Linked to Longer Ring Finger

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Palm readers profess to see the future in a person's hands but fingers might offer clues about a person's prenatal past, a developmental period that possibly influences behavior and health later in life, scientists say.

The latest research links long ring fingers and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, possibly shedding light on the elusive condition.

Despite the discovery of several genes known to cause the rare hereditary form of the deadly disease that killed Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig at 37, the underlying cause of the common form of ALS remains a mystery. But a team of British researchers thinks prenatal testosterone exposure might be involved.

"We know that ALS is about 1.5 times commoner in men than in women, and we know that men are exposed to more testosterone during development than women," said Dr. Ammar Al-Chalabi, professor of neurology and complex disease genetics at London's Institute of Psychiatry and director of the Motor Neuron Disease Care and Research Center at King's College London in the U.K. "We also know that nerve cells have many testosterone receptors on them, and if you disrupt those receptors, those cells die. They need testosterone for some reason."

Because few pregnant women would be willing to offer up their baby-bearing bellies for prenatal testosterone testing, researchers have come up with a proxy: finger length. During development, the male hormone is thought to influence the ratio of index finger to ring finger length, called the 2D:4D ratio (second digit-to-fourth digit). A relatively long ring finger and therefore low 2D:4D ratio is thought to reflect high levels of prenatal testosterone. That's why men, on average, have a lower ratio than women.

Based on the careful calculations of four independent measurers who were unaware which subjects had ALS, the researchers found that the 2D:4D ratio among 47 people with ALS was significantly lower than in 63 controls. The study was published Monday in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

But Al-Chalabi cautioned that having a relatively long ring finger doesn't boost an individual's risk for ALS.

"It's purely averages," he said. "Just as you couldn't look at a hand and say definitively whether someone was a man or woman based on finger length, you can't look at one particular hand and say that's someone's going to have ALS. But if you looked at 1,000 hands, you'd be able to say there's a tendency."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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