20 April 2011
Men who worry about their attractiveness to women may now have a foolproof way to find out how good-looking they are, according to research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Experiments conducted at the University of Liverpool and University of Stirling in the UK suggest that that men whose ring fingers are significantly longer than their index finger are consistently more attractive to females. The research builds on earlier work that points towards a correlation between the relative lengths of male ring and index fingers and various testosterone-related characteristics which appear to make a man more attractive to the opposite sex.
As well as looking at subjects’ attractiveness to women, the scientists also examined whether finger length was associated with body odour and deepness of voice, both of which are affected by testosterone levels. Previous work has shown that women prefer deeper voiced men with a certain something in their natural body odour. However, this research showed no connection between finger length and the attractiveness of a man’s smell or voice.
The authors believe that the effects may be related to the different times at which testosterone can affect a man, although further work will need to test this idea. They suggest that “Physical features closely linked to foetal levels of testosterone, such as face shape, are more likely to be correlated with second-to-fourth digit ratios than traits believed to be directly controlled by circulating testosterone later in life history (voice and body odour)”.