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Familial digit ratio (2D:4D) associations in a general population sample from Wales

Richards, Gareth, Bellin, Wynford and Davies, William ORCID: 2017. Familial digit ratio (2D:4D) associations in a general population sample from Wales. Early Human Development 112 , pp. 14-19. 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2017.06.006

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Background: The relative length of the second and fourth fingers (2D:4D) may be a sex-linked correlate of prenatal androgen exposure. However, the nature of the sex-linkage is controversial, with evidence for both Xand Y-linkage of the 2D:4D phenotype. Aims: To examine transgenerational effects relating to sex-linkage. In addition, assortative mating on 2D:4D was considered, as well as associations between 2D:4D and age and sex. Study design: A family study was conducted. Parents and offspring completed a demographic questionnaire, and digit ratios were calculated from photocopies of participants' hands. Subjects: We recruited and phenotyped 585 individuals attending a cultural festival in Wales. 2D:4D information was available for 47 mother-son dyads, 70 mother-daughter dyads, 31 father-son dyads and 30 father-daughter dyads. Outcome measures: Correlations between 2D:4D of parents and children, as well as between mothers and fathers were conducted. 2D:4D was also examined in relation to age and sex. Results and conclusions: There was a sex difference in 2D:4D (males < females). Within the dyads, there was a significant positive correlation between mother and daughter 2D:4D, but no significant correlation between mother and son ratios, nor between father and offspring ratios. The overall pattern of correlations (with emphasis on father-son dyads) was not supportive of Y-linkage. There was a positive correlation between 2D:4D and age in children, and a negative correlation between 2D:4D and age in adults, and no evidence of assortative mating. Our data are consistent with the notion of 2D:4D as a sexually-dimorphic, mildly age-sensitive, and transgenerationally-transmitted trait that is more likely to be X- than Y-linked.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2D:4D, Assortative mating, Digit ratio, Prenatal testosterone, Sex hormones, Sex linkage, Transgenerational effects
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0378-3782
Funders: European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association; Medical Research Council UK
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 June 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 June 2017
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2023 23:13

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