Validation studies on gender determination from fingerprints with special emphasis on ridge characteristics

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Abstract

Background: The present work investigates the ridge characteristics and ridge density of fingerprints to determine gender differences among population of Punjab. The main characteristics studied were general pattern type, ridge density and minutiae or ridge characteristics with respect to general pattern type. Further, instead of using conventional method of ridge counting, Adobe Photoshop cs5 is used to conclude ridge density and minutiae characteristics. Experimental results shows, along with ridge density, minutiae characteristics procure special importance in determining the gender from fingerprints. Results: The results suggest that mean ridge density in males is 12.32 ridges/25mm2, where as it was 13.94 ridges/25mm2 in females. The study has supported the hypothesis that women tend to have thin ridges i.e. more ridge density as compared to men. The study of minutiae or ridge characteristics revealed that frequency of ridge ending (50.24 index fingers, 50.62 middle fingers) and enclosures (2.87% in index and 3.08% in middle finger) is higher in females as compared to males. Further significant gender difference has been observed in minutiae characteristics with respect to general pattern type. Among both genders; males tend to have more number of minutiae as compared to females in case of loop and whorl as general pattern type. In case of Arch pattern females tends to have more number of minutiae as compared to males. Conclusions: The research carried by the authors of this paper synchronizes with the findings of other researchers despite differences in populations selected. More number of minutiae and ridges were found in case of females as compared to male fingerprints. In the present study an attempt has been made to validate the method by analyzing the blind samples which likewise showed more number of minutiae in case of females as compared to males. Although the study agrees with common theory of more ridge details in females as compared to males, yet low success rate in case of blind trial has unveiled further scope of research required to determine gender from fingerprints found at scene of crime or disputed documents.

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Thakar, M. K., Kaur, P., & Sharma, T. (2018). Validation studies on gender determination from fingerprints with special emphasis on ridge characteristics. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41935-018-0049-7

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