Study claims that women with an index finger less than their ring finger might be stronger.

  • Scientists investigated the link between women’s strength and 2D:4D digit ratios
  • Ratio of the 2D-to-4D digits refers to the ratio between index and ring fingers
  • The experts found lower 2D:4D digit ratio was related to grip strength in women
  • Ratios of low 2D:4D numbers are an indicator that the mother has had more testosterone.

A new study shows that women with an index finger longer than their ring fingers may be more strong. 

Researchers looked at people’s 2D:4D digit ratios – the difference in length between the index and ring finger – and how this is related to muscle strength. 

A lower 2D:4D digit ratio (having a shorter index finger than ring finger) is already thought to indicate higher exposure to testosterone in the womb. 

In experiments, women with a lower 2D:4D ratio tended to have higher grip strength than women with a higher 2D:4D ratio, the researchers found. 

An index finger that is relatively short compared to the ring finger indicates that one has been exposed to a lot of testosterone in utero, whereas a relatively long index finger suggests a lower exposure to testosterone in the womb

If the index fingers are shorter than those of the ring, it means the person has received a significant amount of testosterone in utero. A longer index finger could indicate a lesser exposure.


This biomarker measures the amount of testosterone that a man was exposed to during pregnancy. It is known as the 2D/4D ratio.  

2D:4D Digit Ratio is the ratio of the lengths of an individual’s index and ring fingers (4D) respectively. This ratio is calculated by multiplying index finger length and ring finger height. 

A lower 2D:4D digit ratio is said to indicate higher exposure to testosterone in the womb – and is therefore suggestive of masculinity. 

Meanwhile, a higher 2D:4D digit ratio  is said to indicate lower exposure to testosterone in the womb – and is therefore suggestive of femininity. 

The new study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria and published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 

They claim that although the 2D to 4D ratio is already linked with male strength, its connection with female strength remains ambiguous. 

‘A lower 2D:4D ratio – and higher prenatal testosterone exposure – is linked to higher grip strength in adulthood,’ study author Katrin Schäfer told MailOnline.  

“This mechanism has been in place for men for quite some while, but now it could be applied for women.  

The team measured the digit ratios and handgrip strength of 125 healthy women between 19 and 31 years of age from a remote region in Austria.

Handgrip strength was measured using a dynamometer – a device with a handle that’s often used for routine medical screening of patients’ grip strength. 

Already, a decreased grip strength in the hands is associated with an increase severity of many chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease and chronic obstruction pulmonary disease.

The ratio of 2D/4D numbers was measured by a mobile A4 scanner (CanoScan LIDE 200).  

The research team took scans of women's hands (pictured) to find out their 2D:4D digit ratio

The research team took scans of women’s hands (pictured) to find out their 2D:4D digit ratio

Researchers concluded that handgrip strength and lower 2D/4D digit ratios in women were correlated. 

The result was that handgrip strength and muscular fitness were positively affected by a longer ring around the index finger than an index finger.

Researchers claim they were able to control potential confounding variables, including age, exercise and environment.

Overall, they argue in favour of 2D:4D as a biomarker for prenatal testosterone exposure, despite some Past perceptions of limitations made by academics. 

Hand grip measurement for the study was measured using a Jamar plus digital hand dynamometer (pictured)

The study’s hand grip was determined using the Jamar Plus digital hand dynamometer (pictured).

Another argument against this is the fact that males have more body parts than women, such as their fingers. This impacts the ratio of 2D to 4D. 

Sonja Windhager, study author, stated to MailOnline that she believes that this biomarker is reliable and that it’s the most non-invasive way for us to examine humans retrospectively.  

“Experimental opportunities in this area are very limited because of ethical concerns.”  

There have already been numerous studies looking into how various factors are linked with the 2D:4D ratio.

Researchers in Scandinavia discovered that people who are hungry and have low ratios of 2D to 4D digits made more masculine choices when they were hungry earlier this year. 

Swansea University also found that children of a woman with a high-income mother had lower ratios for 2D to 4D. 


Measure your finger by straightening it. Then, look towards the palm. 

There will likely be creases at the bases of your index finger and ring finger. The crease on your index finger will be one, while the creases in your ring fingers are a series of small creases. 

Choose the nearest crease to the palm. Then, pick a point midway between the base and the tip of your finger on the crease. 

Use a marker to mark it. It should be measured from the marking to the tip.  

To measure your finger straighten it and look at the palm of your hand. At the base of your index and ring fingers there are likely to be creases. Your index finger is likely to have one crease, the ring finger is a band of creases

Take a measurement of the length of your finger. Straighten your finger and place it in front your hand. There will likely be some creases at the bases of your index finger and ring finger. The ring finger has a few creases, while your index finger will have just one.