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Determination of sex by foot and footprint dimensions in the Sinhalese population of Sri Lanka

Chinthani Deepthi Nanayakkara, Tharanga Nandasena, Lakshika S Nawarathna, Sajjiv Ariyasinghe, Kapila Arambawatta, Sandeep Alahakoon


Sex estimation is an important attribute towards establishing the personal identity. Previous studies have demonstrated that metric sex determination methods are population-specific. Standards for sex estimation have been established using foot and footprint dimensions for different populations.  The present study was undertaken to investigate the degree of sexual dimorphism in the foot and footprint measurements with the aim of deriving population-specific sex determination formulae using sexually dimorphic foot and footprint measurements among the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.

Three anthropometric and seven linear measurements obtained from each foot and footprint were analyzed.  All measurements were significantly larger in males than females (P < 0.001).  The overall cross-validated percent correct sex classifications for the foot dimensions ranged from 88.8% to 96.6% and 90.5% to 94.0% for the right and left foot, respectively. The corresponding values for footprint measurements were 73.9% to 83.6% and 75.9% to 83.6%. The most dimorphic single parameter was the foot length providing cross validated sex predicting accuracy rates of 96.6% and 94.0% for the right and left foot, respectively.  The study reveals that foot and footprint measurements can be used effectively to classify sex with a high degree of accuracy among the Sinhalese population in Sri Lanka.


Anthropometry, foot, footprint, forensic anthropology, sex estimation

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