A study of finger lengths, semen quality and sex hormones in 360 young men from the general Danish population

Hum Reprod. 2005 Nov;20(11):3109-13. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dei170. Epub 2005 Jul 8.


Background: It has been suggested that finger length may correlate with function or disorders of the male reproductive system. This is based on the HOXA and HOXD genes' common embryological control of finger development and differentiation of the genital bud. The objective of this study was to explore the association between the ratio of 2nd to 4th finger length (2D:4D ratio) and testis function in a sample of young Danish men from the general population.

Methods: Semen samples and finger measurements were obtained from a total of 360 young Danish men in addition to blood samples for sex hormone analysis to describe the possible association between 2D:4D and semen and sex-hormone parameters.

Results: A statistically significant inverse association with the 2D:4D was found only in relation to hormone levels of FSH in the group of young men with a 2D:4D >1 (P = 0.036) and a direct association with the total sperm count in the group of young men with a 2D:4D < or = 1 (P = 0.045).

Conclusion: The statistically significant results may be 'false positives' (type I error) rather than representing true associations. This relatively large study of young, normal Danish men shows no reliable association between 2D:4D finger ratio and testicular function. Measurements of finger lengths do not have the power to predict the testicular function of adult men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Semen*
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Testis / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • inhibin B
  • Testosterone
  • Inhibins
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone