Confronting Intrasexual Rivals: 2D:4D Digit Ratio Predicts Behavioral and Endocrinological Responses to Infidelity Threat

Jon K. Maner, Saul L. Miller, Jacqueline M. Coyle, Michael P. Kaschak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current research sheds light on a physiological mechanism potentially underlying confrontational responses to infidelity. Findings suggest that responses to infidelity threats in adulthood are shaped by hormonally mediated masculinization of the brain in utero. 2D:4D digit ratio (widely regarded as an index of prenatal testosterone exposure) moderated behavioral and endocrinological responses to infidelity threat. After an infidelity prime (but not a control prime), lower (more masculine) 2D:4D was associated with a greater tendency to approach attractive same-sex targets (intrasexual rivals) and with heightened increases in circulating testosterone, a hormone related to a variety of aggressive and confrontational behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • aggression
  • evolutionary psychology
  • romantic relationships
  • social cognition
  • social neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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