Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 150–157

Fluctuating Asymmetry and Sexual Orientation in Men and Women

  • Stacie S. Miller
  • Heather L. Hoffmann
  • Brian S. Mustanski

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-007-9256-2

Cite this article as:
Miller, S.S., Hoffmann, H.L. & Mustanski, B.S. Arch Sex Behav (2008) 37: 150. doi:10.1007/s10508-007-9256-2


The present study measured handedness and bodily fluctuating asymmetry (FA), two markers of developmental instability, in 89 heterosexual and 78 gay men and women. Asymmetry in ear breadth, ear length, ankle breadth, second digit length, fourth digit length, and two composite indices were calculated for each participant and a modified Edinburgh Inventory was used to assess handedness. Results showed that, for men, there was a significant positive correlation between three measures of FA and sexual orientation scores (SOS). As ear breadth FA and two composite FA scores increased so did SOS on a modified Kinsey scale (where 0 indicated exclusive heterosexuality and 6 indicated exclusive homosexuality). No significant relationships were found between SOS and FA for women. Similarly, sexual orientation was not related to handedness for either sex. The theoretical implications of the present results are discussed.


Fluctuating asymmetrySexual orientationHandednessDevelopmental instability

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stacie S. Miller
    • 1
  • Heather L. Hoffmann
    • 2
  • Brian S. Mustanski
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyKnox CollegeGalesburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois-ChicagoChicagoUSA