Sporting Achievement: What Is the Contribution of Digit Ratio?


concerning this article should be addressed to Anne Campbell, Psychology Department, South Road, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, England. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Second-to-fourth digit ratio, a marker for prenatal testosterone levels, has been shown to be associated with sporting achievement in men. It is unclear, however, whether digit ratio makes a contribution over and above salient personality variables. The present study, which included female participants, measured four personality traits and one cognitive ability (mental rotation) that have been linked to both sports achievement and sex. The significant relationship between digit ratio and sporting achievement was nearly identical in women and men. A multiple regression showed that when significant correlates of sporting ability (weight, height, years playing, hours per week training, social potency, and mental rotation) were entered first, the contribution of digit ratio remained highly significant. We suggest that physiological as well as psychological factors may be an important avenue for future study.