Presentation on theme: "Finger Length and Longevity Student Name Mentor Name, Department Abstract The ratio of index finger length to ring finger length (2D:4D) is an indicator."— Presentation transcript:
Finger Length and Longevity Student Name Mentor Name, Department Abstract The ratio of index finger length to ring finger length (2D:4D) is an indicator of the level of testosterone exposure in the womb. For adult males, this ratio has been found to be related to a number of variables, including higher physical aggression. In the current study, we are examining a possible relationship between finger length and longevity. Specifically, men are consistently reported to have a shorter average life span than women. We predict that those men who live to be elderly will exhibit more symmetrical finger lengths, and thus will have digit ratios more characteristic of women. Introduction The ratio of second to fourth finger length (2D:4D) has been shown to differ for men and women. Specifically, men tend to have shorter index than ring fingers while these fingers have been found to be of more even length in women. This has been reported to be due to the inhibitory effect of testosterone on the growth of the index fingers of the male fetus. Researchers have related the ratio of index and ring finger lengths to numerous aspects of life. For instance, Bailey and Hurd (2005) reported that men with a more masculine finger length ratio had higher physical aggression scores than men with more feminine finger length ratios. Bailey and Hurd (2005) also found a relationship in men between a more even finger length ratio, which is characteristic of women, and higher rates of depression. This had been predicted, for women have been reported to exhibit higher levels of depression than men in numerous studies. Research Question Since it has also been noted that women generally live longer than men, we are examining whether men with more feminine digit ratios (more even index and ring finger lengths) have an increased likelihood of reaching old age than men who have more masculine digit ratios (shorter index than ring fingers). Methods Participants One hundred three students (60 women and 43 men) enrolled in a variety of courses at Buffalo State College have taken part in a pilot study. We now plan to collect data from fifty (25 male and 25 female) young adults and an additional fifty (25 male and 25 female) elderly subjects. Materials and Procedure The proposed research involves measuring the lengths of the second and fourth fingers of two different age groups, young adults and the aged. This will be accomplished using the procedure of Manning, Fink, Neave and Caswell (2005). Specifically, subjects will place each of their hands palm down, with the fingers together, in a photocopy machine. Subsequently, the lengths of the fingers will be measured from the photocopies by raters who are blind to the purpose of the study. Participants will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire consisting of questions regarding health and lifestyle choices such as drinking, smoking, nutrition, and exercise. The questionnaire also includes the BEM Sex Role Inventory. This is a commonly used measure in psychological studies and evaluations. The BEM will be used to examine whether there is an association between masculinity/femininity and 2D:4D in the elderly males. Results Old age homes have been contacted and data will soon begin to be collected. Discussion The ratio of index finger length to ring finger length (2D:4D) has been found to be related to a number of characteristics, particularly for men. As would be expected, those men with a masculine digit ratio (relatively shorter index than ring fingers) have been reported to be more aggressive. Also, those men with a more feminine digit ratio (more even index and ring finger lengths) have been reported to exhibit higher levels of depression, a trait which is more characteristic of women. We predict that those men who live the longest will also exhibit more symmetrical finger lengths. Surprisingly, no research has been reported that examines such a relationship.