Martijn van Mensvoort - © Hand Research

JANUARI 3, 2008

Finger Length & Sexually Dimorphic Facial Characteristics
Research indicates that high (feminine) values of 2D:4D were associated with feminine facial characteristics in women, but not in men

Author: Robert P. Burriss, Anthony C. Little, & Emma C. Nelson -

Research reported from The University of Liverpool & Stirling University - The second-to-fourth-digit ratio (2D:4D) may be related to prenatal testosterone and estrogen levels and pubertal face growth. Several studies have recently provided evidence that 2D:4D is associated with other-rated facial masculinity and dominance, but not with facialmetric measures of masculinity.

We found that localized face shape differences, shown here to be sexually dimorphic and related to ratings of dominance, were associated with direct and indirect measurements of 2D:4D.

In this study we examined various localized features of the face, showing nose width, jaw angle, and lip height to be sexually dimorphic. We then had faces rated for dominance and saw that the most dimorphic characteristics were those most associated with rated dominance, with typically masculine characteristics tending to be associated with high ratings of dominance.

Finally, 2D:4D measurements were made using three different techniques. High (feminine) values of 2D:4D were associated with feminine facial characteristics in women, but not in men. It was concluded that certain aspects of facial development are governed by factors that are established prenatally.

These aspects may be associated with perceptions of the self by others that are important in the social environment, particularly in terms of intra-sexual competition and mate acquisition.

Keywords: 2D:4D - Digit ratio - Dominance - Face - Masculinity - Sexually dimorphic

Read more about:

Facial attraction: how sexual choices shaped the face

Adult males have shorter up­per faces, for their width, than fe­males do, re­search­ers found. This male face is wid­er, as ap­par­ent from the yel­low ver­ti­cal lines when he is com­pared to the face above. Yet the up­per fa­cial height is about the same, as is ev­i­dent when com­par­ing him to the face left of him. The re­search­ers placed the yellow lines against fa­cial ref­er­ence points known as the na­si­on, zy­gion and pros­thi­on, shown at up­per left.

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