Digit ratio and hand grip strength are associated with male competition outcomes: A study among traditional populations of the Yali and Hadza
Objectives: Indirect measures of physiological features, such as digit ratio and hand grip strength (HGS), are associated with the outcome of male competition activities. However, most of the studies were conducted in developed and industri- alized societies. We tested the hypothesis that both digit ratio and HGS are associ- ated with performance in male-specific activities in two traditional preindustrial societies: Yali and Hadza.
Methods: To measure masculine behavioral traits, we determined warriorship sta- tus (Yali; n = 49) and assessed hunting skills (Yali n = 47 and Hadza n = 49). We also assessed the digit ratio and HGS of each male. We conducted our analyses using the Bayesian approach.
Results: Bayesian regression models indicated that greater hand grip strength is associated with better hunting outcomes among Hadza males. We did not find a similar link for the Yali. We found anecdotal evidence for the link between left hand digit ratio and the number of birds hunted by Hadza. We found no evidence for the link between digit ratio and performance in male-male competition. Conclusions: Our results suggest that male-male competition outcomes are deter- mined by upper body strength, but only in the Hadza population. We also found limited support for the hypothesis that digit ratio is associated with hunting success among the Hadza. We found no support for the hypothesis concerning the digit ratio or HGS among the Yali. Our research provides partial support for the evolu- tionary hypotheses based on studies conducted in industrialized populations.