Aggression, gender-typical childhood play, and a prenatal hormonal index

Leslie A. Burton, Debra Henninger, Jessica H Mirman, John Cofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An evaluation was conducted of 134 university students (93 female, 41 male) with the Aggression Questionnaire of Buss and Perry (1992) and a Gender-Typical Play Behavior Questionnaire constructed for this study. Measurements were taken of an index of prenatal androgen activity – finger length ratios – for which gender differences have been reported. Gender differences in aggression and in the finger length ratios were found, in the directions reported in the literature. Correlations between greater current report of aggression and play style more typical of boys during childhood were found in both the male and female samples. This relationship between current level of aggression and gender-typical childhood play across time was notable. Gender-typical finger length ratios were associated with gender-typical patterns of play for several indices. The current findings provide support for the idea that physical aggression, childhood play style, and finger length ratios may reflect prenatal androgenic influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Behavior and Personality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2009


  • aggression
  • finger length ratios
  • gender
  • hormones
  • play


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