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Determination of Sex Using Hand Dimensions

P R Varu, C N Gajera, H M Mangal, P M Modi




Background: Whenever unknown or mutilated dead bodiesor dismembered body parts are found, crime investigative agencies focuses on establishment of identity of deceased in their primary investigation. Determination of sex from dismembered body parts can play vital role for identification of deceased. Present study can be helpful in such cases to determine sex from Hand dimensions, if isolated hand is found. Present study was done with the aim to derive cut off points for Hand length, breadth and Hand index to differentiate male and female.

Methods: Value more than cut off point denotes male and less than that denotes female. Total 100 male and 100 female cases were randomly selected from cadavers brought for post-mortem examination at mortuary of P.D.U. Govt. Medical College and Hospital, Rajkot. Hand length and breadth was measured by sliding caliperup to nearest 0.1 cm after breaking Rigor mortis, if developed. Collected data were statistically analysed using software like Epi info 7 and Microsoft excel 2007.

Results: No significant bilateral difference was found in Hand length (P>0.05) but Hand breadth was showing significant bilateral difference (P<0.05). However, bilateral difference in Hand breadth was relatively small (0.17 cm for males and 0.15 cm for females, on an average). So, combined right and left hand measurements were used to derive cut off points. Cut off point to differentiate male and female for Hand length, breadth and index were 17.2, 7.7 and 44.6 respectively.

Conclusion: Hand length, breadth and Hand index are showing sexual dimorphism and therefore they can be used for determination of sex when isolated hand is found. Hand breadth was showing highest accuracy in determination of sex, followed by Hand length and Hand index.


Forensic Anthropometry, Hand Length, Hand Breadth, Hand Index


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ijmtfm.v6i1(Winter).10023