Thesis

Association of prenatal androgen exposure with attention and sociosexual orientation

This study examined the relationships between 2D:4D (the ratio between the second and fourth digits of the hand, which may be a marker of prenatal androgen exposure), sociosexual orientation, and attention to photographic stimuli. The sample included 52 women and 31 men who were presented with photographs of men and women while their gaze behavior was measured with an eye tracker. Participants indicated which model was the most attractive, which was the greatest competition, and how likely each model was to agree to date the participant. Contrary to previous research, I found no significant gender differences between men and women’s right or left hand 2D:4D. Overall, male models received longer fixation than female models; this was true for both male and female participants, although the relationship was not significant among the men. Lower, more masculine, left hand 2D:4D was associated with higher scores on the behavior subscale of the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory-Revised. Participants who scored high on the desire and attitude subscale and global sociosexual orientation were more confident in their ratings of how likely the models would be to date them. 2D:4D and sociosexual orientation was not associated with fixation on models deemed most attractive or highest in competition. This study utilizes an uncommon procedure for evaluating mating behaviors. By combining eye tracker data, a measure of prenatal androgen exposure, and a measure of sociosexual orientation, this study has provided a multifaceted approach to the study of mating behaviors.

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