Men's Health

8 Studies Explain What The Size Of Men’s Hands Really Means

Everything scientists know about hand size, finger length, and your penis size.

Originally Published: 
Close up on the hands of a man who has been doing physical labor and is wiping his hands clean.
Richard Drury/Getty

Whether big or small, a man’s hands say a lot about him. Based on whether a man has strong, calloused palms or long, dexterous fingers, people may make assumptions about his career or hobbies, like whether he does physical labor or plays piano. But whether those stereotypes about male hands hold true, the science doesn’t say. The size of a man’s hand size can, however, reveal a lot about his biology. Studies have shown that whether a man has small hands, big hands, or average hands, male hand size gives away a ton of information about everything from a man’s athletic ability to his sex life and even his penis size.

First, a clarification: When scientists study a man’s hands, they don’t focus much on the actual hand size itself. They’re looking at the proportions of his fingers.

A man’s index finger, compared to his ring finger, tells scientists how much testosterone he may have been exposed to in utero. This, in turn, influences many behavioral, health, and anatomical outcomes throughout his life. It turns out that men who are overly concerned about the size of their hands should shift their attention to their fingers.

Whether you’re a guy with small hands, large hands, or average-sized hands, the index and ring fingers say a lot more about you than you may realize.

Male Hands Say Something About the Penis

Is the old wives’ tale about penis size being proportional to hand size true? You’re damn right it is. In a sense.

One study, published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, revealed that men with longer ring fingers had proportionally longer penises to match. After considering the age, weight, height, digit ratio, individual finger length, and body mass index (BMI) of 144 men, they found that height and the length of the gap between index and ring fingers were the factors that made a difference.

“Based on this evidence we suggest that the digit ratio can predict the adult penile size,” the study authors wrote. So if you want to confirm what you’re working with, look to your hands. But not just how big or small they are.

A Man’s Hands Might Have Something to Do With His Attractiveness

Men with long ring fingers may be more prone to promiscuity because they’re too damn attractive, studies have shown. Although definitely not an excuse for cheating, when researchers had 49 women assess the attractiveness of 49 men, they found that men with longer ring fingers ranked higher than their peers. There’s little beyond this as far as an explanation, but it’s still a fascinating correlation.

A Man’s Hand Size Predicts How He’ll Treat Women

Men with longer ring fingers are more likely to smile, laugh, compromise, compliment, and listen attentively to women, according to one study of 78 men and 77 women. The longer their ring fingers, the kinder and more attentive the men seemed to be around women. Men with longer index fingers, however, argued a lot with the women in their lives.

Longer Ring Fingers Mean More Sex and Fertility

The same study suggests that longer ring fingers may be linked to male fertility, a contention backed by preliminary research. Other studies indicate that men with longer ring fingers are four times more likely to partner with women who display outward signs of fertility, such as larger breasts and hips and smaller waists. Meanwhile, both men and women who have longer ring fingers may be predisposed to having multiple sex partners, Oxford University research suggests.

A Man’s Hand Size Hints at His Athletic Ability

Men with longer ring fingers have better hand strength, regardless of their age and body size, a team of father-son researchers found. Several studies echo the sentiment that longer ring fingers are linked with superior athleticism and overall strength.

Hand Size Has Something to Do With a Man’s Cancer Risk

There’s evidence that men with long index digits have a comparatively lower prostate cancer risk. But a word to the wise: Anyone who advises you to compare the size of your hand to the size of your face wants you to hit yourself in the face.

Hormones May Make Men and Women Have Different Finger Lengths

Men generally have longer ring fingers than index fingers, but for women it’s the opposite. There are two major factors that could be the cause. It could either be that people with longer fingers (which just happens to usually be men) are more likely to have longer ring fingers. Or exposure to different levels of sex hormones in utero could be the cause.

A new study of 3,802 men and 3,780 women disproves the first hypothesis by finding that there isn’t a correlation between total finger length and whether the index or ring finger is longer. Although this finding isn’t going to give you any insight into your personality or health or penis size, it does support just how important prenatal sex hormones are in determining finger size. And this goes on to influence a lot of other aspects of a man’s life.

Finger Length Is Linked to COVID Risk

A small preliminary study found that people with relatively short ring fingers compared to the rest of their digits are more likely to get severe COVID and be hospitalized. This was true regardless of sex. However, even more striking was that people whose pointer finger to ring finger ratio and middle finger to little finger ratio were different between their left and right hands had a substantially higher risk of hospitalization.

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