Masculine Men More Likely to Give Erotic Gifts

There may be sexy presents under the Christmas tree if your man is macho

Posted Dec 24, 2015

Mike Krzeszak/Flickr
Source: Mike Krzeszak/Flickr

Confident and masculine men are more likely to give erotic gifts, according to researchers from Canada and Brazil.

Males who were exposed to more of the male hormone testosterone while in their mother’s womb tend to be more typically masculine, take greater risks with money and their personal safety, view more pornography, and spend more money on courting partners.

Researchers can tell if a man received more than his fair share of testosterone in utero because hormones influence how our fingers grow. If your index finger is smaller than your ring finger, you probably had a larger than average dose of prenatal testosterone.

Now scientists have found that men with manly mitts are also more generous with sexy gifts.

Marcelo Nepomuceno of HEC Montréal, a Canadian business school, measured the fingers of 130 White Brazilian men. Then he asked the men to rate how likely they would be to gift lingerie or other erotic products to their girlfriends.

The researchers also quizzed the men about their confidence in the mating arena. Men who agreed with statements such as “members of the opposite sex notice me” and “I can have as many sexual partners as I choose” were classed as high in mating confidence.


As we might expect, men high in mating confidence were more likely to give erotic gifts. Men with masculine finger lengths — who had been exposed to more testosterone in the womb — were also more likely to give erotic gifts, but only if they were also high in mating confidence.

The researchers say:

While exposure to high prenatal testosterone and low prenatal estrogen
are likely to promote a greater desire to offer erotic gifts in men, only
those with high mating confidence are able to act on these bold desires.

Men whose finger lengths were masculine but who scored low on mating confidence were less likely to give erotic gifts than their less masculine peers. Nepomuceno and his colleagues speculate that this could be because “men with masculinized digit ratios and low mating confidence have had greater erotic gift-giving failures, which might have led to a more negative view regarding erotic gift-giving”.

This is plausible given that men with masculine fingers are known to have higher sex drives and to spend more money wooing women.

So if you want to know whether there’s a sexy gift waiting for you under the Christmas tree, there’s no need to shake every parcel. Instead, check out your man’s hands.

Or wait for Christmas morning. Your call.


Nepomucenoa, M, V., Saad, G., Stenstrom, E., Mendenhall, Z., & Iglesias, F. (2016). Testosterone & gift-giving: Mating confidence moderates the association between digit ratios (2D:4D and rel2) and erotic gift-giving. Personality and Individual Differences (91), 27–30. Read summary.

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