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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gareth RichardsORCiD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
The ratio of index to ring finger (2D:4D) has been hypothesised to indicate prenatal androgen exposure, yet evidence for its validity is lacking. We report the first pre-registered study to investigate mothers’ early pregnancy sex hormone concentrations in relation to their children’s digit ratios measured at 18-22-month follow-up. Although the testosterone (T) to estradiol (E) ratio correlated negatively with right hand digit ratio (R2D:4D) and directional asymmetry (right-minus-left) in digit ratio (D[R-L]), neither effect remained statistically significant once demographic and obstetric covariates were controlled for. Nevertheless, the multivariate level of analysis did reveal that T correlated positively with left hand digit ratio (L2D:4D) and negatively with D[R-L]. However, the first of these effects is in the opposite direction to that predicted by theory. Taken together, the results of our study suggest research with larger samples is required to determine whether digit ratios are valid proxies for maternal sex hormone exposure.
Author(s): Richards G, Aydin E, Tsompanidis A, Padaigaitė E, Austin T, Allison C, Holt R, Baron-Cohen S
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Scientific Reports
Online publication date: 09/08/2022
Acceptance date: 22/07/2022
Date deposited: 22/07/2022
ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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