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Keywords:

  • 2D:4D;
  • handgrip strength;
  • Han ethnicity;
  • sexual dimorphism

Abstract

The ratio of the length of the second finger to the fourth finger (2D:4D) is considered to be a putative proxy of prenatal exposure to testosterone, and has been increasingly used as a promising tool to evaluate the impact of prenatal androgenization in humans in such traits as physical performance. In this study, for the first time, we present 2D:4D data on adult participants of Han ethnicity. We consider the sexual dimorphism of 2D:4D and handgrip strength, and also report the relationship between 2D:4D and handgrip strength of males and females. The sample consisted of 54 males and 55 females recruited from a remote village in the Qinling Mountains, China. We found sexual dimorphism of both 2D:4D and handgrip strength, i.e., males had lower 2D:4D and right-left 2D:4D than females and greater handgrip strength than females. There was a sex-specific correlation between 2D:4D and handgrip strength, i.e., 2D:4D in the right hand was negatively correlated with handgrip strength in males but not in females. This relationship may be driven by sexual selection operating on fetal programming. Am J Phys Anthropol 149:266–271, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.