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Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
Year : 2017, Volume : 11, Issue : 1
First page : ( 256) Last page : ( 260)
Print ISSN : 0973-9122. Online ISSN : 0973-9130.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0973-9130.2017.00051.2

Determination of Sex from Hand Dimensions in South Indian Population

Jayanth SH1, Hugar Basappa S2, Chandra Girish YP3

1Assistant Professor, Dept of Forensic Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College, MSRIT PO, MSR Nagar, Bangalore

2Associate Professor, Dept of Forensic Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College, MSRIT PO, MSR Nagar, Bangalore

3Professor, Dept of Forensic Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College, MSRIT PO, MSR Nagar, Bangalore

Online published on 2 January, 2017.



Personal identification is an important role of forensic experts during mass disasters like earth quakes, tsunamis, plane crash etc. Sex determination is an important factor in establishing identity in forensic practice. Forensic anthropometrists use various anthropometric techniques to determine sex from such dismembered body parts. Such anthropometric techniques aim to find out cut off point in measurement of various body parts or bones that discriminate between male and female


The aim of present study is to correlate hand dimensions in both sexes and to derive cut off points for Hand dimensions.

Materials and Method

The study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, in the year 2016. The material consisted of 150 young and healthy students (75 males and 75 females) in the age group of 20–21 years after taking informed consent to participate in the study. Subjects of south Indian origin were selected based on their mother tongue. The data obtained was computed and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 23.0) computer software.


The mean values of hand dimensions and hand index were more in males than in females. Minor bilateral variation of hand breadth in males and hand length in females was observed. Cut off points estimated are 18.26 cm for hand length, 7.8 cm for hand breadth and 42.62 cm for hand index. Hand length has more accuracy in determining sex and then hand breadth and hand index.


Hand dimensions and index show sexual dimorphism. Any measurement above the cut off point would indicate male sex and measurement below cut off point would indicate female sex. Hand length is more accurate than hand breadth and index to differentiate sex.



Hand length, Hand breadth, Hand index, Identification, Anthropometry, Sex determination.


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