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Meta-Analysis
, 32 (4), 313-21

Second to Fourth Digit Length Ratio (2D:4D) and Adult Sex Hormone Levels: New Data and a Meta-Analytic Review

Affiliations
Meta-Analysis

Second to Fourth Digit Length Ratio (2D:4D) and Adult Sex Hormone Levels: New Data and a Meta-Analytic Review

Johannes Hönekopp et al. Psychoneuroendocrinology.

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 D(r-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 D(r-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 D(r-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.

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