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Meta-analysis of the relationship between digit-ratio 2D:4D and aggression

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Personality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Volume51
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)381-386
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Males tend to be more aggressive than females and the organizational effects of prenatal testosterone (T) appear to contribute to this sex difference. Low second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is thought to be a marker of high prenatal testosterone. For this reason, a number of studies have used 2D:4D to investigate a potential effect of prenatal T upon aggression in later life. Here we meta-analyse these studies to determine the true size of the relationship between 2D:4D and aggression. We find no evidence of 2D:4D better predicting aggression at different levels of risk nor do we find evidence for a relationship between 2D:4D and aggression in females. Regarding males we find some evidence of a small, negative relationship between 2D:4D and aggression (r ≈ −.06) and no indication that either hand would predict aggression better than the other. We contrast these findings with results regarding levels of aggression in females with elevated prenatal T levels due to Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and we discuss implications for 2D:4D research.