Size Matters When It Comes To Love -- Particularly The Length Of Your Fingers
Hands up if you've been unlucky in love?
Now, put your hand down and have a look at your fingers. In particular, take a close look at your index finger and your ring finger. According to new research from the University of Oxford, UK, they're the ones with some explaining to do.
"Women with higher left-hand digit ratios are more impulsive and rate their romantic relationships less favourably," the study found.
In a nutshell, researchers recruited 474 people -- who they specifically said were "healthy adults" from "UK science festivals and a museum"-- and then measured the lengths of their fingers.
It's no secret to scientists that the ratio of finger lengths can be used to measure the level of androgen hormones a person was exposed to in the womb.
For women, one of the main jobs of androgens is to be converted into estrogen.
This study, published in Biology Letters, found preliminary evidence linking the difference between the ring and index finger to three genes associated with endorphins and other hormones.
So what does it mean?
The study found those women with a higher ratio tended to be more impulsive and less satisfied with their relationships. They appeared more likely to lean towards what the researchers called "opportunistic mating."
It's not just 'love' these fingers can tell us about
A 2009 paper from America's National Academy of Sciences examined whether finger lengths could be used to predict the long-term profitability of financial traders in London.
The researchers predicted those with longer fourth fingers would be more successful, because it meant they'd had higher exposure to androgens in the womb and were more willing to take risks.
And they were right.
After examining the profit and loss statements of 44 traders, they concluded those with longer ring fingers made five times more money.
So time to get out the ruler -- size really does matter.