The 2nd to 4th digit ratio (2D:4D) and eating disorder diagnosis in women

Stephanie Quinton, April Rose Smith, Thomas Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eating disorders are more common in females than in males and are believed to be caused, in part, by biological and hormonal factors. Digit ratio or 2D:4D (the ratio of the 2nd to the 4th digit) is considered to be a proxy for prenatal testosterone (PT) and prenatal oestrogen (PE) exposure. However, how 2D:4D may be related to type of eating pathology is unknown. The relationship between 2D:4D and eating disorder diagnosis was investigated in recovered and currently eating disordered (n=31) and control (n=99) women. Mean 2D:4D ratio was significantly lower (indicating higher levels of PT and lower levels of PE) in anorexic (AN) compared to bulimic (BN) women, with controls intermediary. In eating disordered women, 2D:4D was positively and significantly related to current weight, lowest weight and current BMI, with strongest associations for right 2D:4D. Among women, low 2D:4D is related to AN and high 2D:4D to BN, suggesting a differential causal influence of prenatal sex hormones on later eating pathology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-405
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume51
Issue number4
Early online date2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The 2nd to 4th digit ratio (2D:4D) and eating disorder diagnosis in women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this