Relationships of toe-length ratios to finger-length ratios, foot preference, and wearing of toe rings

Percept Mot Skills. 2010 Feb;110(1):33-47. doi: 10.2466/PMS.110.1.33-47.


Sexually differentiated digit ratios of the hand (2D:4D and other) are currently widely studied, owing to their presumed role as a retrospective diagnostic window into prenatal androgen action. This study was only the second one (following McFadden & Shubel, 2002) to examine all 6 possible finger-length ratios (excluding the thumb) and all 10 possible toe-length ratios (including the big toe). Data from a sample of 59 male and 69 female Austrian adults (M age = 27 yr., SD = 7.9) were collected. Replicating the prior study, the majority of toe-length ratios exhibited significant sex differences, which was similar to finger-length ratios, but of weaker effect size. Ipsilateral correlations of toe-length and finger-length ratios were largely absent, except for those of corresponding or adjacent length ratios of the right body side among women. However, these associations were directionally opposite, such that among women, feminized finger-length ratios corresponded to masculinized toe-length ratios. Foot preference (among both sexes) and wearing of toe rings (among women) were not correlates of toe-length ratios. Discussed are implications of these findings for digit ratio research, along with ideas for further inquiry on this topic.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology*
  • Fingers / embryology
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Jewelry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Toes / anatomy & histology*
  • Toes / embryology
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone