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Hum Biol. 2002 Dec;74(6):861-70.

Evidence against a relationship between dermatoglyphic asymmetry and male sexual orientation.

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Department of General Biology, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.


Hall and Kimura (1994) studied the relation between dermatoglyphic asymmetry and male sexual orientation in a sample of 66 homosexual and 182 heterosexual men. They found that more homosexual men possessed a leftward dermatoglyphic asymmetry than did heterosexual men. In this paper, we report a comparative study about the relationship between sexual orientation and dermatoglyphic characteristics, including 60 homosexual men, 76 heterosexual men, and 60 heterosexual women, recruited from the general population, and also from a gay-rights nongovernmental organization, in Salvador, Brazil. Ulnar loops were the most frequent dermatoglyphic pattern in all groups, followed by whorls, arches, and radial loops. A chi-square analysis comparing the frequencies of the patterns in the three groups only showed an excess of ulnar loops in women (p < 0.05) and arches in men (p < 0.01), but did not reveal significant differences between homosexuals and the other groups studied. There was no significant difference between gay and straight men on total ridge count. We found a preponderance of rightward asymmetry in homosexual and heterosexual men, as well as in heterosexual women. Our results do not agree with Hall and Kimura's data indicating that more gay men possessed the minority leftward asymmetry than did straight men. There was no significant difference in leftward asymmetry in the sample studied. The results reported in this paper do not support any relation between dermatoglyphic asymmetry and male sexual orientation, and, thus, any hypothesis concerning a biological intrauterine contribution to adult sexual orientation somehow associated with dermatoglyphic development.

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