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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gareth Richards
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
The ratio of length between the second (index) and fourth (ring) fingers (digit ratio or 2D:4D) is frequently employed as a retrospective marker of prenatal sex hormone exposure. Lutchmaya et al. (2004) reported that the ratio of testosterone (T) to estradiol (E) present in second trimester amniotic fluid was negatively correlated with digit ratios for the right hand (but not the left hand) in a sample of 29 children at 2-year follow-up. This observation is frequently cited as evidence for the measure’s validity but has not been replicated. We therefore present the findings of another study of amniotic T and E that did not find evidence for these effects at 4.5-year follow-up. The confidence intervals were large, the direction of correlations observed was generally erratic, and the overall findings question the premise that second trimester sex hormones affect the development of digit length ratios in humans.
Author(s): Richards G, Browne WV, Constantinescu M
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Pages: Epub ahead of print
Online publication date: 21/01/2021
Acceptance date: 25/11/2020
Date deposited: 25/11/2020
ISSN (print): 2040-1744
ISSN (electronic): 2040-1752
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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