Fingerprint White Line Counts: An Upcoming Forensic Tool for Sex Determination

Lawan H. Adamu, Abdullahi Y. Asuku, Usman A. Muhd, Tajuddeen L. Sa’id, Sadiya B. Nasir, Magaji G. Taura


Fingerprints are one of the common forensic tools used in personal
identification. However, the associated secondary epidermal
creases of fingerprints, fingerprint white line count (FWLC), has
received less attention within the forensic community. This study
was conducted with an aim to determine the potential of FWLC in
sex inference among adult Nigerians.
A cross sectional study was carried out with 150 males and
150 females with age range of 18-30 and 18-33 years, respectively.
Live scanner (Digita persona, China) was used to capture the plain
fingerprint for FWLC. Mann Whitney, Kruskal Wallis and logistic
regression analyses were employed for determination of digit
variation (based on side and type), sexual dimorphism and prediction
models, respectively. Likelihood ratio and posterior probability
were used to determine the favour odd for sex inference from
A significant higher mean value of FWLC was observed in females
(2.24 ± 2.03) compared to males (0.85 ± 1.29). Absence of
white line was indicative of male origin in all the digits except for
left index digit (favor odd of 0.72 for females and 0.29 for males).
However, FWLC from 5 to 11 were more likely to be of female
origin. The best discriminator of sex was the left FWLC with a
percentage accuracy of discrimination of 72%. The percentage contribution
of the left FWLC in the discrimination of the sexes was
observed to range from 23.0 to 30.20%.
The FWLC was found to be a potential predictor of sex among
adult Nigerians of Hausa ethnic origin.


Forensic Science, Identification, Fingerprint, White Line Counts, Sex Inference.

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