Anthropometric Digit Ratio 2D:4D and Athletic Performance



2D:4D (the length of the second finger divided by the length of the fourth finger) appears to be a marker of prenatal testosterone levels, with lower 2D:4D indicating higher prenatal testosterone. 2D:4D has become a prominent tool for studying potential effects of prenatal testosterone on human development and behavior. Athletic performance is positively affected by circulating testosterone ­levels; similarly, prenatal testosterone may have a positive effect on athletic performance. In order to investigate this possibility, I here review studies on the relationship between 2D:4D and athletic ­performance. In line with expectations, most studies found a negative relationship between 2D:4D and various measures of athletic performance in either sex. There is some evidence that 2D:4D shows stronger relationships with measures of endurance than with measures of strength. This suggests that prenatal testosterone promotes some components of physical fitness more than others.


Physical Fitness Athletic Performance Digit Ratio Androgenic Steroid Prenatal Androgenisation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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