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Lower Digit Ratio (2D:4D) Indicative of Excess Prenatal Androgen Is Associated With Increased Sociability and Greater Social Capital


Buchholz, Verena N; Mühle, Christiane; Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors; Kornhuber, Johannes; Lenz, Bernd; et al; Gmel, Gerhard; Mohler-Kuo, Meichun; Foster, Simon; Marmet, Simon; Studer, Joseph (2019). Lower Digit Ratio (2D:4D) Indicative of Excess Prenatal Androgen Is Associated With Increased Sociability and Greater Social Capital. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13:246.

Abstract

Positive social interactions are crucial for human well-being. Elevated prenatal exposure to testosterone as indicated by a low second-to-fourth finger length ratio (2D:4D) relates to more aggressive/hostile behavior in men of low 2D:4D, especially in challenging situations. How much people enjoy interacting with others is determined by the personality trait sociability. Given its role in approach and avoidance behavior, sociability might also be influenced by prenatal sex hormones, but studies are inconclusive so far. Here, we investigated the association between 2D:4D and the personality trait sociability complemented by personal social capital and personal social network size, in a population-based cohort of 4998 men. Lower 2D:4D correlated significantly with higher trait sociability, bigger personal social capital, and larger personal social network size. These effects were consistent across both hands separately and their mean value. Furthermore, both factors of sociability (1) liking party and company of friends and (2) isolation intolerance, correlated significantly with the prenatal testosterone marker. The exploratory analysis revealed no link between 2D:4D and responses to the personality trait aggression items or items of anti-social-personality disorder. Our data suggest that prenatal androgen exposure organizes the brain with lasting effects on social behavior.

Abstract

Positive social interactions are crucial for human well-being. Elevated prenatal exposure to testosterone as indicated by a low second-to-fourth finger length ratio (2D:4D) relates to more aggressive/hostile behavior in men of low 2D:4D, especially in challenging situations. How much people enjoy interacting with others is determined by the personality trait sociability. Given its role in approach and avoidance behavior, sociability might also be influenced by prenatal sex hormones, but studies are inconclusive so far. Here, we investigated the association between 2D:4D and the personality trait sociability complemented by personal social capital and personal social network size, in a population-based cohort of 4998 men. Lower 2D:4D correlated significantly with higher trait sociability, bigger personal social capital, and larger personal social network size. These effects were consistent across both hands separately and their mean value. Furthermore, both factors of sociability (1) liking party and company of friends and (2) isolation intolerance, correlated significantly with the prenatal testosterone marker. The exploratory analysis revealed no link between 2D:4D and responses to the personality trait aggression items or items of anti-social-personality disorder. Our data suggest that prenatal androgen exposure organizes the brain with lasting effects on social behavior.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:5 December 2019
Deposited On:21 Jan 2021 12:48
Last Modified:01 Feb 2021 16:27
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5153
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00246
PubMed ID:31866841

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