Male finger lengths related to attractiveness
Men whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers are more attractive to women, a study suggests.
The longer the fourth finger compared to the second, known as the 2D:4D ratio, is proportional to how attractive their face is considered, research showed.
The ratio between the fingers is known to be linked to sex hormones, with a lower ratio – a longer ring finger than index finger – an indication of exposure to testosterone in the womb.
This could in turn lead to more attractive and symmetrical features, it was claimed.
The ratios have previously been linked to fertility, sexuality and competitiveness.
The effect is more marked on the right hand than the left, claims the study reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Dr Camille Ferdenzi, of the University of Geneva, and his team measured the digit ratios (the 2D: 4D ratios) of 49 men, and then presented their pictures in random order to female participants.
The women were asked to rate the faces for short term attractiveness – such as a dinner date or holiday romance – long term attractiveness – as a potential partner – masculinity and symmetry.
The researchers found that both long and short term attractiveness was 'highly correlated' to the 2D: 4D ratio, with the lower the ratio the higher the score.
Symmetry was also linked – but, interestingly masculinity was not, the team found.
Dr Ferdenzi said: "This illustrates a female preference for men with a low 2D: 4D ratio, possibly driven by the fact that these men have more symmetrical faces.
"Such a preference might have evolved because it increases females' reproductive success by gaining benefits from partners who are more physically robust."
However, body odour and the pitch of the voice – other indicators of high testosterone exposure – were not found to be linked to the 2D: 4D ratio.
This could be because these developments take place later in life so are not affected by exposure to the hormone in the womb, say the researchers.