A forensic study of ethnicity and sex differences in fingerprint patterns in a Malaysian sub-population

Loong, Chuen Lee and Darrelyn CN, and Nurul Syafiqah A, (2021) A forensic study of ethnicity and sex differences in fingerprint patterns in a Malaysian sub-population. Medicine & Health, 16 (1). pp. 92-107. ISSN 2289-5728


Official URL: https://www.medicineandhealthukm.com/toc/16/1


Fingerprint is one of the most common evidence found at a crime scene. Owing to the uniqueness of fingerprint, it is useful for suspect identification. Typically, the questioned fingerprint is of limited contribution due to blurriness of the minutia or absence of potential suspect. However, it is still useful if the ethnicity or sex of the questioned fingerprint could be inferred to narrow down the scope of searching of suspect. Therefore, this study aims to examine sexual and ethnic differences in fingerprint patterns among the three major ethnic groups in Malaysia, i.e. Malays, Chinese and Indians. In total, 2000 plain fingerprints were collected from all the ten fingers of 200 Malaysians (i.e. 99 males and 101 females). Each of the three ethnic groups was represented by at least 60 subjects. Descriptive statistics and hypothesis test were performed to assess the sexual and ethnic variability of fingerprint patterns. In addition, simple correspondence analysis was also conducted to support the descriptive and inferential statistics. By considering fingerprint patterns in all the ten fingers, loop was the most frequent pattern in Malays (23.0%) and Indians (23.2%), while Chinese (13.9%) showed slightly higher frequency of whorl than Malays (9.6%) and Indians (10.3%). The relative distribution of fingerprint patterns of male was similar to that of female. In conclusion, fingerprint patterns could be used to infer the ethnicity rather than the sex of a suspect in the Malaysian context.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Chi-Square test; Fingerprints; Malaysia
Journal:Medicine & Health
ID Code:17440
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:21 Sep 2021 03:45
Last Modified:23 Sep 2021 01:53

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