How to tell the difference between a man and a woman…

by Stephanie Chasteen on July 29, 2008

In this modern world, it gets tougher and tougher to figure out if someone is a Jim or a Jane. Whatever happened to the easy era of codpieces and corsets? Without those to fall back on, here’s a bit of physics you can use to figure it out in a pinch.

Have the person in question fold a small piece of paper into a little tent. Kneel on the floor and put the paper between their fingers, as in prayer, with their hands at their forehead. Have them bend forward at the waist and place the paper in front of them on the floor, and sit back up. Now, they should put their hands behind their back, and lean forward and try to touch the paper with their nose, while keeping their balance.

If they fall forward, it’s a man. If they keep their balance, it’s a woman. (Note, this doesn’t always work, choose your test subjects carefully).

What’s going on? Women have a lower center of gravity, we’ve got short torsos, long legs, and those nice wide hips. So if you were able to balance a woman lengthwise on your arm, her balance point would be somewhere around her belly. Men, on the other hand, have long torsos and a lot of weight in their chests. So when he tries to lean forward to touch the paper, he can’t do it because it brings his center of mass too far forward in front of his knees and he falls over.

Another way to see this biological difference between men and woman is this. Find a man and woman of equal height and have them stand next to each other. Her legs will be longer than his, and his torso will be longer than hers It’s quite striking. Or, find a man who’s a bit taller than a woman. Chances are their legs will be of equal length!

And an insightful addendum from Swans on Tea

Add “Can I balance you lengthwise on my arm” to the list of “things likely to get me slapped”


Jimmy May 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm

A mans index finger is shorter than his ring finger. a womans index finger is longer than her ring finger.

Keisha May 20, 2009 at 9:03 am

uh, my index finger is shorter than my ring finger and im definitely not a guy…so how true is that cause people are different.

Grake August 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm

The fingers are as reliable as any other method. Several of the women I know are that way too includeing my Grandma who had 3 kids so I am definately sure that the Index/Ring finger is true, as for the Balance, I haven’t tried this yet.

Grake August 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm



B. February 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

My index and ring finger are exactly the same so what does that make me??? The Last time I checked I was a guy but you never know, right???

Zora March 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm

A man will have a brow bone. A woman does not. They are catching on to this and having their brow bones shaved, though. Pretty sick.

Katey March 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm

My index finger is not longer than my ring finger so stop making up stuff…

sciencegeekgirl March 23, 2011 at 1:37 am

This post has nothing about index fingers — I don’t know about that metric at all!

Jane April 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I’ve heard of the index/ring finger rule, and I think you have to look at your fingers with your palm facing you. It makes a difference to me, and for everyone’s hands I’ve looked at so far (friends/family) it seems to be right.. but I also agree with Grake; this rule is as probably as reliable as any other method used to tell the difference.

jess March 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

the index thing was on manswers but its not true im 100% a women and mine is the same if not a little shorter so dont go by this its not true at all as other comments might have already proved

OOO April 7, 2012 at 6:14 am


I’m a male with a small torso and long legs, then my finger ratio in feminine too.

anonymous September 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm

well i am a guy and i was able to keep balance and my feet are far taller than my torso so it is not really right

anonymous September 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

well i am a guy and i was able to keep balance and my legs are far taller than my torso so it is not really right

anonymous September 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

i meant legs not feet sorry!!!!!

JD September 18, 2012 at 4:17 am

I give up, as long as there a girl now i guess 🙁

John March 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

If you need to look at your hands to determine your sex, you are in more trouble than you think, I’m afraid. Try looking down the front of your pants. The testosterone to estrogen exposure percentages in the womb has been shown to effect digit ratio’s.

Razz January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

Im thinking about the adams apple???? can someone just tell me if there is a sure way to tell if my ste mom is a dude????

ELUDZ August 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

hey idiots.. for the finger thing.. you have to FULLY open your hand.. if you half ass it the fingers won’t be right.. put your palm down on a table and fully open your hand… and i bet all you women on here that said it wasn’t right.. will be wrong.

Crispy August 9, 2014 at 12:32 am

It’s all from perspective and Eludz you couldn’t be more wrong. If you keep your fingers straight n’ next to each other and measure your index & ring finger from the knuckle or base to the end of the finger a lot of times your ring finger will measure out longer. However sometimes it will flip, other times they’ll measure out to be the same. Just Google; Wood Jones’s “Human Digital Formula”.

Jern December 7, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Well one thing seems clear in this day and age: the difference is that women have bigger brains and men are stupid, subservient entities who are only useful for the occasional sex and carrying shopping bags. Oh, and if they’re white they must be hundreds of years old and responsible for the slave trade, which I’ll have you know still continues today.

Absurd as all this may appear, look around; look at the way the media in general is portraying men. It’s got a lot worse over recent years, from news, films, education. You name it. Men are the target. For instance look at how modern films personify women, especially certain demographics(?) , as victims. Men are the classed as the aggressors..instigators..docile..rude..and dumb. The women do the thinking and the men are just there to thank them for it.

This agenda’ is easy to spot; all you have to do is look between the lines. There’s a war on men these days, and if you’re a man, you’re born guilty..

Jern December 7, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Oh, and if you think Islamic State is the biggest threat to our way of life? Again, look around. IS isn’t the only threat – we’re doing a pretty darn good job destroying ourselves from within and all in the name of equality. Take a look at what’s being bred, what’s coming out of American Universities with a REAL chip on its shoulders. And of course, the media does their bidding. This is your future, these are the wet-behind-the-ears imbeciles that will ultimately take up middle and upper management positions..people with all the mouth, all the answers..yet hardly any of the solutions. If you disagree with them, you’re racist. Terrorist. Old-school. Passed your sell-by-date. And if you object to open borders and rabid feminism then you ARE the principle target. These stupid apes are carried through life, within a close-nit social circle, including the liberal courses they take at top universities. They aren’t there because they are clever – they are there because they have been put there and given opportunity on a plate. They then proceed to rape and pillage all manner of resource, and “protest” everything that doesn’t fit their particular (and often corporate-sponsored) agenda. Now these morons are a problem, but the biggest drive here is the way the media, and the corporations, are encouraging them. Don’t think so? Look at how quickly the shooting of a black suspect in Ferguson, MO, was spread.. made out to look like something it wasn’t in order to illicit a certain response from certain people – people. The objective? Divide and rule. Distract. Destroy. People who question open borders..question the hypocrisy associated with feminism or other ‘ism’sl..people who THINK objectively and rationally and can research, articulate their views without having to draw influence from any trained chimp running government – YOU are the enemy here. You are the problem. You think to much and in today’s world that just doesn’t fit.

alex December 27, 2015 at 3:20 am

Just to clarify woman on here who are confused with the finger thing. Your ring finger should not be a lot longer. It could be a little small difference. I believe its a way to tell and the difference should be very noticable. So if your ring finger is a lot longer than your index finger there’s a problem. And if any woman on here says it is they are a man trolling.

Alicia January 12, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Hey Jern, read your comments, digging your comments! You’re dead on, I looked up this site to see if I could find some more scientific, anatomical info to further solidify that venus and serena Williams are men! And also, Michelle Obama. I was very interested in your view points, as I too have noticed the same things about our society, and the rampant wickedness that the media tries to pass off to the masses as normal. I’ve noticed that white men are targeted, black men are targeted, single mothers/women are targeted, the children are just free for the pickings, if they make it out of their mother’s wombs! It seems that the small number of ruling elite have succeeded at pitting us against each other, and turning EVERYONE into racist, or terrorist. We weren’t designed to be “group thinkers”, yet individuality and critical thinking is shunned from pre-school to the brainwashing that goes on in the universities. Now, this country produces Bruce Jenner-“WOMAN OF THE YEAR”!! Our men are effeminate and our women are so out of whack emotionally, over 80% are medicated on antidepressants and mood modifiers. These are the examples the youth have…….. we’ve done this, being too passive and tolerant, not drawing the line and holding one another, and the gvt accountable. We hate the truth, while defending the lie to cover our own shame. ….. I’m speaking corporately. Now here we are, primed and ready for world dominance….. and our role? SLAVES!! And the powers that be don’t care what skin color we’re wrapped in, or what reproductive organ we possess. …….SLAVERY for the sheeple people. It puts me in the mind of Jesus, He was quite controversial when He walked the earth, so much so they killed Him. Now, our gvt has written legislation that gives them the power to put me(and you!) to death, without a trial, for disagreeing with the gvt. NDAA for speaking against group think, like you stated Jern. I don’t know where you stand with Jesus, but after careful observation, and thousands of hours in study and research, I find that Jesus Christ is our only hope and refuge. Cause as it stands, without him, if they are left to their plans and schemes, we’ll all die (Georgia Guidestones-depopulation-eugenic)! And, He told us, thru the holy scriptures that this would happen!! We must not be discouraged, for all won’t be lost.

Valerie January 31, 2016 at 4:38 am

Alex you are ignorant. My ring finger is almost an inch longer than my index finger on both hands and I am definitely a woman. I had 3 babies and I don’t know any man that has done that. p.s. no troll here.

Helen April 30, 2016 at 6:49 am

I am definitely a female and the ring fingers on my hands are longer than my index fingers. This “rule” may apply to some but not all women.

mp May 18, 2016 at 9:54 am

Has anyone checked into the one about arms? If an individual straightens their arms, palms up, in front of them: a man’s arm will be straight through from shoulder to wrist; a women’s forearm will angle out from the elbow. I have not vetted this out, but heard from more than a few co-workers that frequently travel the world. This was their fool-proof way to tell the difference.

Auntalice October 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm

I held my hand with fingers closed and my ring finger was longer than my index finger. I laid my hand flat on the table with fingers spread apart and my ring finger was shorter than my index finger. I am a female and it depends on how and where you place and spread your hand. Therefore. this theory is contradictory that you can tell a man from a woman by the length of their index and ring finger.

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