No sexual dimorphism in human prenatal metacarpal ratios

Early Hum Dev. 2014 Mar;90(3):157-60. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 28.


Background: Ratios of digit lengths are studied intensively as markers of prenatal sex hormone levels.

Aim: Study sexual dimorphism in ratios of metacarpals, which received less attention.

Methods: We studied six metacarpal ratios in deceased human fetuses of ages 10 to 42weeks.

Results and conclusion: We found no indication of a sexual dimorphism at this early stage of development.

Keywords: 2D:4D ratio; Metacarpal ratios; Prenatal development; Sex differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetus / anatomy & histology*
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metacarpus / anatomy & histology*
  • Sex Characteristics*