Sex-specific finger-length patterns linked to behavioral variables: Consistency across various human populations

Peters M., Tan U., Kang Y., Teixeira L., Mandal M.

PERCEPTUAL AND MOTOR SKILLS, vol.94, no.1, pp.171-181, 2002 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 94 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.2466/pms.94.1.171-181
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-181
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


In humans, as in nonhuman primates, the digits of the hands are similar in length during early fetal development. Subsequently, differentiation leads to a patter Of unequal finger lengths, described by George as the finger-length pattern. Recent work by Manning and colleagues suggested that digit length patterns are due to early influences of sex hormones. Most importantly for psychology, such patterns might also relate to cognitive activities that are influenced by early organizing actions of sex hormones. The exciting possibility of having an easily measurable indicator of early action of sex hormones that relates to behavior led us to examine the universality of digit length patterns. With samples from Brazil, Canada, India, Turkey, and Korea, we showed that patterns of distal extent of finger tips are similar across different human populations. Consistent sex differences were found across the samples, showing that the index finger in males extends less far distally relative to the middle finger than is the case for females and that the difference in distal extent between index and ring fingers, relative to the middle finger, is smaller in females than in males.