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2D:4D digit ratio and religiosity in university student and general population samples

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gareth RichardsORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by British Psychological Society, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The ratio of index to ring finger length (2D:4D) is used as a proxy for prenatal sex hormone exposure. It hasbeen hypothesised to correlate with religiosity, though no published research has explored this possibility.Here, we initially examined 2D:4D in relation to self-reported religious affiliation and questionnairemeasures of general religiosity, spirituality, religious fundamentalism, and religious commitment in male(N=106) and female (N=105) university students (Study 1). Although no significant correlations wereobserved between 2D:4D and the questionnaire measures, females who affiliated with organised religionshad higher digit ratios compared to agnostic or atheist females. Study 2 attempted to replicate these findingsin an adult general population sample (N=172 males, N=257 females), but did not observe significanteffects in either sex. Overall, these findings suggest that high 2D:4D may be relatively-specifically associatedwith religious affiliation in young, highly-educated, females.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richards G, Davies W, Stewart-Williams S, Bellin W, Reed P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transpersonal Psychology Review

Year: 2018

Volume: 20

Issue: 1

Pages: 23-36

Print publication date: 28/05/2018

Online publication date: 30/04/2018

Acceptance date: 12/03/2018

Date deposited: 05/07/2018

ISSN (print): 1366-6991

ISSN (electronic): 2396-9636

Publisher: British Psychological Society