Association of Digit Ratio (2D: 4D) with self-reported attractiveness in men and women

J. T. Manning, Stephanie Quinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Prenatal testosterone (PT) may influence attractiveness such that high PT increases attractiveness in men. Here we are concerned with self-perceptions of attractiveness, rather than ratings of attractiveness by others. Our sample was 255,116 participants drawn from an Internet survey. We considered the relationship between self-reported attractiveness and the ratio of the length of the 2nd and 4th digits (digit ratio, 2D:4D), a putative negative correlate of PT. Participants reported ratings on their general attractiveness, and the attractiveness of their face, voice, and body. There were significant effects of sexual orientation on the ratings and we considered only heterosexuals in all subsequent analyses. We found that 2D:4D was negatively correlated with general, facial, and body attractiveness, with the strongest association for body attractiveness. There was no relationship for voice attractiveness. General, facial, and body attractiveness were negatively associated with age and positively related to height (a possible correlate of adult testosterone, AT). However, the 2D:4D relationships were independent of age and height. 2D:4D differs across ethnic groups, but a consideration of only white Caucasians gave essentially the same results. We conclude that (1) high PT, as measured by low 2D:4D, is associated with self-perception of high attractiveness in men and women, and (2) the relationships between height and attractiveness indicate that AT is also positively correlated to self-perceptions of attractiveness in men and women. Thus, high PT and AT may increase body esteem in both men and women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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