Fluctuating asymmetry and sexual orientation in men and women

Stacie S. Miller*, Heather L. Hoffmann, Brian S. Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The present study measured handedness and bodily fluctuating asymmetry (FA), two markers of developmental instability, in 89 heterosexual and 78 gay men and women. Asymmetry in ear breadth, ear length, ankle breadth, second digit length, fourth digit length, and two composite indices were calculated for each participant and a modified Edinburgh Inventory was used to assess handedness. Results showed that, for men, there was a significant positive correlation between three measures of FA and sexual orientation scores (SOS). As ear breadth FA and two composite FA scores increased so did SOS on a modified Kinsey scale (where 0 indicated exclusive heterosexuality and 6 indicated exclusive homosexuality). No significant relationships were found between SOS and FA for women. Similarly, sexual orientation was not related to handedness for either sex. The theoretical implications of the present results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-157
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Developmental instability
  • Fluctuating asymmetry
  • Handedness
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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