Sex determination from hand dimensions for forensic identification


  • Sangeeta Dey Research Scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
  • A. K. Kapoor Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007



Sexual determination, Forensic identification, Sectioning point, Hand length, Hand breadth, Hand index


Background: Sex determination is an important and foremost criteria in establishing the identity of an individual. The issue of Sex discrimination can be very complicated in cases of intersex, bodies in advanced state of putrefaction, mutilated & fragmentary remains in which it is common to recover dismembered & peripheral parts of the body. It was realized that anthropometric measurements of the hand has been very useful tool in sexual identification.

Objectives: This paper attempts to discriminate between male and female on the basis of hand dimensions, to investigate among the variables which can better predict sex, to derive sectioning point for discriminating sex and to reflect frequent hand index category among the sexes.

Methods: The research study was based on 182 subjects (91 males & 91 females) within age 18-60 years, devoid of any deformity, fracture or surgical proceedings of either hand were randomly selected from Udaipur district of Rajasthan. Hand Length and Hand Breadth was obtained from each subject and results were analyzed using IBM SPSS computer software.

Results: Hand length and hand breadth show statistically significant male – female differences at p<0.001. Hand Breadth was found as best predictor of sex in comparison with hand length. Frequency of hand index categories reveals that females have highest dolichocheir morphology of hand. Sectioning point analysis confirms that cut-off point of 43 and below is suggestive of male hand whereas above 43 were considered as female hand.

Conclusions: This study has implications in mass disasters and in criminal cases where an isolated hand is recovered and needs forensic identification.



Paola M, Stefano D, Inmaculad L, Aleman K and Miguel C. Sex assement from the carpal bone. Forensic science international journal 2011; 206-216.

Boldsen J. A Statistical Evaluation of the Basis for Predicting Stature from Lenghts of Long bones in European Populations. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 1984; 65: 305-311.

Trotter M, and Gleser G C. Estimation of Stature from long bones of American Whites and Negroes. American journal of Physical Anthropology 1952; 9: 427-440.

Telkka A. On the Prediction of human stature from the long bones. Acta Anat. 1950; 103-117.

Sangeeta Dey and Kapoor A K. Hand length and Hand Breadth: A Study of Correlation Statistics among Human Population. International Journal of Science and Research 2015; 4(4): 148 – 150.

Sangeeta Dey and Kapoor A K. Hand Outlines: A New Dimension in Forensic Examination. International Journal of Advanced Research 2015; 3(1): 193-199.

Case D T and Ross R H. Sex determination from hand and foot bone lengths. J Forensic Sci 2007; 52: 264-270.

Smith S L. Attribution of hand bones to sex and population groups. J Forensic Sci 1996; 41: 469-477.

Bertillon, A. Identification Anthropometrique. Melun 1885; 65-73.

Nancy E, Paul M and Schivilli L. Forensic medicine of the lower extremity.Anthropological analysis of the lower extremity. Forensic Science and medicine 2005; 69-98.

Iscan M Y. Forensic anthropology of sex and body size. forensic science international 2005; 147: 107-112.

William T et al. Finger length ratios and sexual orientation. Nature 2000; 404: 455-456.

Tanuj K, Kewal K, Abhilasha S and Ritesh, G. A study of correlation of hand & foot dimensions for personal identification in mass disasters. Forensic Science International 2010; 112e1-112e6.

Okunribido O O. A survey of hand anthropometry of female rural farm workers in Ibadan, Western Nigeria. Ergonomics 2000; 43: 282-292.

Agnihotri A K, Purwar B and Jeebun N. Determination of sex hand Dimensions. Internal j. of Forensic Science 2006; 2(1).

Kanchan T and Rastogi P. Sex determination from hand dimensions of North and South Indians. J Forensic Sci 2009; 54(3): 546–50.

Giles E and Elliot O. Sex determination by discriminant function analysis of crania. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 1963; 21: 53-68.

Eshak G, Ahmed H and Abdelgwad, V. Gender determination from hand bone length and volume using multidirector computed tomography. j of forensic legal medicine 2011; 18(6): 246-252.

Falsetti A B. Sex assessment from metacarpals of the human hand. J Forensic Sci 1995; 40: 774-776.

Lazenby R A. Identification of sex from metacarpals: effect of side asymmetry. J Forensic Sci 1994; 39: 1188-94.

Scvheuer J L and Elkington N M. Sex determination from metacarpals and the first proximal phalanx. J Forensic Sci 1993; 38: 769-778.

Agnihotri A K, Shukla S, and Purwa B. Determination of Sex from foot measurements. International journal of Forensic Science 2007; 2(3).

Moudgil R, Kaur R, Menezes R G, Kanchan T and Garg R K. Foot index: is it a tool for sex determination? J Forensic Leg Med 2008; 15: 223-226.

Tyagi A K, Rani M and Kohli A. Sexing by foot index. J Forensic Med 2004; 21: 10-1.

Aboul-Hagag K E , Mohamed S A, Hilal M A and Mohamed E A. Determination of sex from hand dimensions and index/ring finger length ratio in Upper Egyptians. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences 2011; 1: 80-86.

Kanchan T and Kumar G P. Index and ring finger ratio - a morphologic sex determinant in South - Indian Children. Forensic Sci. Med. Pathol 2010; 6: 255-260.

Kanchan T, Kumar G P, Menezes R G, Rastogi P, Rao PPJ, and Menon A. Sexual dimorphism of index to ring finger ratio in south Indian adolescents. J Forensic Leg Med 2010; 17: 243–246.

Lippa R A. Are 2D: 4D finger-length ratios related to sexual orientation? Yes for men, no for women. J PersSocPsychol 2003;85:179-188.

Singh I P and Bhasin M K. A Manual of Biological Anthropology. Delhi: Kamla Raj enterprises, 2004.

Martin R and Saller K. Lehrbuch der Anthropologie, DritteAuflage. Vol. II. Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer Verlag, 1957.

Singla R, Bedi M, and Biswas M. Sex estimation from foot anthropometry in haryanvijats and north indian mixed population. J Punjab Acad Forensic Med Toxicol 2012;12(1):13-16.




How to Cite

Dey, S., & Kapoor, A. K. (2017). Sex determination from hand dimensions for forensic identification. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 3(6), 1466–1472.



Original Research Articles