Monday, April 05, 2004
2nd reason found to check woman's ring finger "OTTAWA -- Women whose index fingers are shorter than their ring fingers are more likely to engage in casual sex, a McMaster University psychologist claims.

Andrew Clark, a doctoral student at the Hamilton, Ontario, school, conducted experiments exploring how a variety of factors influenced the sexual behavior of female college students.

One of those indicators is the ratio of index to ring finger. Men typically have shorter index fingers, while women typically have shorter ring fingers. But, Clark found in two separate studies, women whose fingers exhibit the more masculine ratio are more willing 'to engage in casual, uncommitted sex.'

He says that is because the unconscious desire to spread one's genes is an inherently male trait -- thus the willingness to have casual intercourse. It has been known for a century that the ratio between index and ring fingers varies between men and women. The trait, while not universal, is consistent across many ethnic groups, and remains constant from prenatal development through adulthood.

'As far as I know, [index to ring] is the only one that does this,' says John Manning, a professor of biological psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, in England, and a modern pioneer in digit-ratio research.

Clark's findings are documented in an upcoming article in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

While arguing the ring-index ratio is valuable as an indicator of the role of prenatal hormones on later development, researchers acknowledge it is not a perfect indicator of any individual's sexual inclinations. The complexity of the factors driving sexual behavior is indicated by the fact that none of Clark's factors relating to sexual activity were correlated with one another, showing a variety of biological and cultural pathways shape the behavior.

The strongest indicator of high sexual activity, of the seven Clark studied, was the amount of money spent on alcohol."

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