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Evol Hum Behav. 2000 Sep 1;21(5):333-345.

The ratio of 2nd to 4th digit length and male homosexuality.

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Population and Evolutionary Biology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, L69 3BX, Liverpool, UK


Sexual orientation may be influenced by prenatal levels of testosterone and oestrogen. There is evidence that the ratio of the length of 2nd and 4th digits (2D:4D) is negatively related to prenatal testosterone and positively to oestrogen. We report that (a) 2D:4D was lower in a sample of 88 homosexual men than in 88 sex- and age-matched controls recruited without regard to sexual orientation, (b) within the homosexual sample, there was a significant positive relationship between mean 2D:4D ratio and exclusive homosexuality, (c) overall, there was a decrease in 2D:4D from controls to homosexual men to bisexual men and (d) fraternal birth order, a positive predictor of male homosexuality, was not associated with 2D:4D in a sample of 240 Caucasian men recruited without regard to sexual orientation and 45 homosexual men.Further work is needed to confirm the relationships between 2D:4D and sexual orientation. However, these and other recent data tend to support an association between male homosexuality and high fetal testosterone. Very high testosterone levels may be associated with a sexual preference for both men and women.


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