Masculine (Low) Digit Ratios Predict Masculine Food Choices in Hungry Consumers

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This study investigated the link between individuals’ 2D:4D digit ratio (a biomarker associated with prenatal testosterone exposure) and their inclination to make masculine food choices. Furthermore, the study investigated whether this potential association would be moderated by consumers’ levels of hunger (vs. satiation). Participants (N = 216; 50% female) made a set of binary food choices between items pretested to be perceived as masculine (vs. feminine) and indicated the lengths of their second (2D) and fourth (4D) digits (i.e., index and ring fingers), which were used to calculate their 2D:4D digit ratios. Additionally, they self-reported their self-perceived gender identity and their subjective sense of hunger (vs. satiation). The results revealed that low, masculine digit ratios had no overall impact on masculine food choices. However, among both men and women and irrespective of their self-perceived gender identity, hungry (vs. satiated) participants with masculine digit ratios made more masculine food choices. Thus, although digit ratios did not act as an antecedent of participants’ general tendency of making masculine food choices, the specific visceral state of hunger interacted with participants’ digit ratios to predict choices of masculine foods. Taken together, these findings expand the knowledge on when and how prenatal exposure to sex hormones may affect consumers’ food preferences and in which specific way a particular visceral state may moderate the link between biologically based factors and consumer choice.
TidsskriftFood Quality and Preference
StatusAccepteret/In press - 31 dec. 2020

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