Chris Porter cporter at
Wed Dec 7 10:36:48 EST 1994

In article <shock-061294224600 at> shock at (Stephen Hock) writes:
>I have a very mundane question I was wondering if anyone out there could
>Is there some sex-linked trait of some sort that makes a person's index
>finger as long as or longer than their middle finger?  I seem to recall
>learning at some point that there is such a trait, but for some reason I
>have the vague impression that this trait manifests itself only in women. 
>Am I imagining things, or does such a trait exist?
>Thank you. 

The text below, taken from OMIM, suggests that the trait is autosomal
dominant in males, autosomal recessive in females. Please note that
the work was done some years ago...

Chris Porter

Christopher J Porter		                    Phone: +1 (410) 614-1851 
Data Acquisition and Curation 		 	      Fax: +1 (410) 614-0434
Genome Data Base				      Email: cporter at


The information below is taken from Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man
(OMIM). OMIM can be searched on the World Wide Web at the URL:




Kloepfer (1946) studied the relative length of the index and middle fingers.
Short index fingers (i.e., the index finger is shorter than the ring finger) is
said to be dominant in men, recessive in women. Three phenotypes were
noted--second longer than fourth, second equal to fourth, and second shorter
than fourth (Phelps, 1952).


Blincoe, H.:
     Significant hand types in women according to relative lengths of fingers.
     Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 20: 45-48, 1962.

Kloepfer, H. W.:
     An investigation of 171 possible linkage relationships in man. Ann. Eugen.
     13: 35-71, 1946.

Phelps, V. R.:
     Relative index finger length as a sex-influenced trait in man. Am. J. Hum.
     Genet. 4: 72-89, 1952.


          Short index fingers.
          Autosomal dominant.

More information about the Bioforum mailing list