Sex assessment from metacarpals of the human hand

A. B. Falsetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Discriminant functions designed for the determination of sex from metacarpal measurements are presented. Three samples of metacarpal specimens were employed in the analysis; one consisting of 212 individuals from the Terry Collection, one of 33 individuals from the Royal Free Medical School in London, and finally, 40 individuals from the Forensic/Donated Collection, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, all of whom had documented sex. Five measurements designed to characterize the size and shape of the human metacarpal were taken on all five digits. Based on the Terry Collection, significant metric differences attributed to race were found for digits I and III, and thus functions could only be derived for the three remaining metacarpals. Sex discriminant functions derived from the Terry Collection for digits II, IV, and V provide correct classification of 92.0, 86.26, and 84.37 percent. The resulting three linear equations were then independently applied to the Royal Free Medical School and Forensic/Donated samples to validate the accuracy of the original functions. Percentage of correct classification for each of the test samples varies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-776
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • discriminant functions
  • metacarpals
  • musculoskeletal system
  • physical anthropology
  • sex estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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