Preston left, Kamran right.

If I hold out my hand, I can see that my ring finger and my index finger are about the same length. That may be a sign of my body’s homosexuality. In general, men tend to have longer ring fingers than index fingers, while women’s index fingers tend to be the same size or slightly shorter than their ring fingers.

While finger length sounds like a random data point, it isn’t. The length of our fingers is determined by the amount of testosterone we receive in the womb. Apparently I had less, resulting in feminized finger lengths, while Kamran had the more typical male amount. This jibes with the concept these are statistical probabilities or tendencies, not absolutes.

Lesbians tend towards men’s finger lengths, a sign of a masculinized body.

Strangely, none of this applies to gay men with more than one older brother. As the oldest of five kids, this doesn’t apply to me.

I really enjoy how we learned all this. With serious funding of gay people blocked, researchers went out into public street fairs, asked participants to complete a questionnaire about their sexuality, and then photocopied their hands for measurement later. The triumph of the copying machine as scientific research tool.


  • Gay men: Finger length tends towards female patterns, indicating lower testosterone exposure in the womb. The pattern is not seen in gay men with more than one older brother.
  • Lesbians: Finger lengths tend towards male patterns, indicating higher testosterone exposure in the womb.


  • S. Marc Breedlove et al, Finger-length ratios and sexual orientation, (2000) Nature, 404, 455 – 456

This article is part of a series, Written on the Body, exploring the correlations between our body structures and sexual attraction.