Feature

The mismeasure of hands?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6444, pp. 923-925
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6444.923

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Some researchers argue that the ratio between the length of the second and fourth fingers, the 2D:4D ratio, reflects the levels of testosterone and other hormones people were exposed to in the womb. Measuring the ratio, these scientists say, can thus provide insight into the role of hormones in shaping adult attributes such as aggressiveness and sexual orientation. It may also reveal sports prowess and disease risk. But other researchers criticize this work. Ratios are statistically dubious, they contend, and the evidence linking the 2D:4D ratio to prenatal hormone levels is weak. Moreover, they say, the field of 2D:4D research is rife with unrepeatable results.

View Full Text