Second to fourth digit length ratio (2D:4D) and adult sex hormone levels: new data and a meta-analytic review.

Johannes Honekopp, Luise Batholdt, Lothar Beier, Andreas Liebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relative length of the second (index) to the fourth (ring) finger (2D:4D) is a putative negative correlate of prenatal testosterone (T) exposure. Therefore, 2D:4D (and to a lesser extent Dr−l, the difference between 2D:4D in the right hand and in the left hand) has often been used to study effects of prenatal androgenization on human behavior and cognition. However, evidence suggests that 2D:4D may also be related to levels of circulating sex hormones in adults. This would question the validity of 2D:4D as a means of studying the effects of prenatal sex hormones. Here we present new data from two non-clinical samples (64 women and 102 men) regarding the relationships of 2D:4D and Dr−l with circulating sex hormone levels. We then present a meta-analytic review of all the present evidence regarding this issue. The results suggest that, in the normal population, 2D:4D and Dr−l are not associated with adult sex hormone levels. The findings from this current study add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that 2D:4D is a suitable tool to study the effects of prenatal androgenization on human behavior and cognition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-321
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

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