Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Does finger length predict athletic ability?

The Association between Athleticism, Prenatal Testosterone, and Finger Length

Moffit, DM and Swank, CB.
The association between athleticism, prenatal testosterone, and finger length. J Strength Cond Res 25(4): 1085-1088, 2011.
Research suggests that prenatal levels of testosterone are related to finger length development and traits beneficial to athletic skill, such as power, endurance, visual-spatial skills, or sensation seeking and dominance behavior. In men, the second digit to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) has been shown to correlate with success in competitive levels of football (soccer), which suggests that the 2D:4D ratio is a possible marker for level of attainment in sport. The purpose of this study was to explore the 2D:4D relationships between sports and make comparisons with nonathletes. A multiple group posttest-only design was used. Participants included 138 male volunteers with 92 intercollegiate National Collegiate Athletic Association division I athletes and 46 nonathletes who were not varsity athletes. The independent variable was group (crew, football, gymnastics, soccer, nonathlete). The dependent variable was the 2D:4D ratio. No significant differences were noted between the athletes and nonathletes (p = 0.182). Significant differences were found among the different groups (p = 0.000), with significantly lower ratios between football and crew (p = 0.000), football and nonathletes (p = 0.030), and gymnastics and crew (p = 0.001). This research provides a stronger level of evidence that the 2D:4D ratio may help indicate potential athleticism or competition-level achievement, but the external validity may be limited to only specific sports.

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