Finger length can predict sexual orientation, personality traits, cancer risk? Here’s what the science says

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Image: NBC

I saw an article in Science that claimed “finger lengths can predict personality and health.” Huh? 

The author, science writer Mitch Leslie, gives us the rather startling number that over the past 20 years, more than 1400 papers have been published linking finger lengths to personality, sexual orientation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more.

What is this magical finger length ratio? Simple: it’s the ratio between the lengths of your index (2nd) and ring (4th) fingers.

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Berkeley psychologist Marc Breedlove (now at Michigan State) published a study in Nature where he and his colleagues measured finger-length ratios in 720 adults in San Francisco. …

Whoa! They are not only claiming that the 2D:4D ratio is predictive of homosexuality, but also that exposure to prenatal androgen is the root cause of both finger lengths and sexual orientation. (Confusing correlation with causation, perhaps?) Not surprisingly, this claim is not widely accepted.

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The Science article goes on to explain, though, that “the results often can’t be replicated.” Most of these studies are small, the measurement techniques vary widely, and efforts to reproduce them (when others have tried, which isn’t that often) usually fail.

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After reading the whole Science article, one comes away with the impression that finger ratio science is almost certainly bogus.

Read full, original post: Does the length of your fingers predict sexual orientation?

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