Determination Of Sex From The Foot Measurements
A Agnihotri, S Shukla, B Purwar
foot index, foot measurements, identification, physical anthropometry, sex determination
A Agnihotri, S Shukla, B Purwar. Determination Of Sex From The Foot Measurements. The Internet Journal of Forensic Science. 2006 Volume 2 Number 1.
The aim of our physical anthropometric study was to determine sex (male/female) by foot measurements. Two hundred and fifty students (125 males and 125 females) of the age above 18 years were examined in the year 2005. The average foot length was found to be about 3cm greater in males as compared to females and the average foot breadth of males was about 1cm longer than females. The foot index was calculated and has been used for the determination of sex. To conclude, the foot index more than 37 is suggestive of female and less than 37 is that of male.
Identification is often required in medico-legal practice. The problem mainly arises when the body is recovered in advanced stage of decomposition, mutilated state and skeletanized state. Sometimes, fragments of soft tissues are found disposed off in the open, in ditches, or rubbish dumps, etc. and this material is brought to forensic pathologist for examination.1
Sex determination is a vital part of the analysis of human remains. Lots of researches are going on for assessing stature, sex, race, etc from anthropometric measurements of different parts of the body for identification purpose. In the present study, attempt has been made to find out co-relation of foot measurements with the sex (male/female).
The study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, SSR Medical College, Mauritius in the year 2005 with collaboration of the Department of Anatomy. The material consists of 250 young and healthy students (125 males and 125 females) in the age group of 18-30 years. In this study, the sample included only the students above the age of 18 years. Above this age, most people attain their maximum growth and therefore their maximum foot length and breadth.
The foot length was measured as a straight distance between the most posterior projecting point of heel and the most anterior projecting point (the end of great toe or second toe) when placed on flat surface. This measurement excluded any nail extending over the end of the toe. The breadth of foot was measured as straight distance from the most medially placed point on the head of 1st metatarsal to the most laterally placed point located on the head of 5th metatarsal. The apparatus used for this study were osteometric board and measuring tape.
The foot index was calculated by dividing the foot breadth by foot length and multiplied by 100. To obtain better results, the entire sample of study has been categorized in to different age groups like 18-19 years, 19-20 years, 20-21 years, 21-22 years and more than 22 years. The mean values of foot length and foot breadth of each age group have been used for calculating foot index.
Many physical anthropometric studies show the gender difference.2, 3, 4 The average male is ten centimeters taller than the average female and this difference will also be translated in an overall trend that males will have greater foot length as compared to females.5
In our study, males had an average foot length about 3cm greater than the females' foot length. The foot breadth was about 1cm greater in males as compared to females. In all age groups, the foot index in females was found to be more than 37, and in males, it was less than 37. Therefore, this value i.e. 37 can be used as deviation point for the determination of sex. Thus the present study indicates a positive correlation between an individual's foot measurements and gender, which is consistent with the study conducted by Tyagi el al.6 Thus sex can be determined by foot index with fair accuracy. Further researches are needed in this field.
We thank medical students for their cooperation in the conduction of this study.
Dr. Arun Kumar Agnihotri House No. 4, Malherbes Street Curepipe, Mauritius Email: email@example.com