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J Forensic Sci. 2006 Nov;51(6):1376-82.

Sex determination using nonmetric characteristics of the mandible in Koreans.

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Division in Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, Oral Science Research Center, BK21 Project, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.


The mandible is the largest and hardest facial bone and retains its shape better than other bones in the forensic and physical anthropologic field. The mandible can be used to distinguish among ethnic groups and between sexes. We examined the morphological characteristics of the mandibles of 102 Koreans of either sex. Of 13 nonmetric items of the mandible, the characteristic that best allowed the sexes to be distinguished was the contour of the lower border of the mandible: rocker-shaped mandibles predominated in males (68.1%), whereas most females (84.6%) exhibited a straight mandible. In addition, the mental region was shaped differently between the sexes: the shape of the chin in most males was generally bilobate or square (91.7%), whereas the chin in females was either square (45.5%) or pointed (54.5%). In this study, the positive predict values of male and female were 92.5% and 73.7%, respectively. Therefore, the nonmetric method used to analyze the mandible in this study can be used for sex discrimination.

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