Investigating sex differences in fingerprint minutiae density of the core region utilizing the minutiae: ridge-length ratio
Reinart, Leonard Francis
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In an attempt to develop a statistical model for fingerprint analysis, the Minutiae:Ridge-Length Ratio (MRLR) was used to examine differences between the different sexes, hands, fingers, ridge patterns, and racial groups. In regards to sex, statistically significant MRLR differences (α=0.05) were found between males and females when analyzing both individual prints (p<0.001) and entire ten-print cards (p=0.025). Further examination of the data revealed more specific differences within separate subcategories. The MRLR was significantly different (p<0.001) between males and females with both right and left hands. With respect to sex and individual finger differences, the thumb (p<0.001), index finger (p<0.001), and middle finger (p=0.015) were statistically significant. For ridge pattern, whorls (p<0.001) and ulnar loops (p<0.001) had significant differences between the sexes. Racially, males and females had statistically significant differences from one another within the Caucasian (p<0.001) and African American (p<0.001) racial groups. Further investigation of variables independent of sex highlighted other statistically significant MRLR relationships. Within the fingers, the thumb was found to be significantly different than the middle (p<0.001), ring (p<0.001), and little fingers (p<0.001); the index finger also differed from the little finger significantly (p=0.001). Comparison of level one detail demonstrated the whorl pattern was statistically different than the arch (p<0.001), radial loop (p=0.002), and ulnar loop patterns (p<0.001). No statistically significant difference was found between the right and left hands of the sample population (p=0.160). The racial subdivisions produced more complex relationships. Caucasians had statistically significant MRLR differences to African Americans (p=0.036), Hispanics (p=0.003), and Asians (p=0.046). African Americans had additional significant differences from Hispanics (p<0.001), Asians (p<0.001), and Native Americans (p=0.036). Finally, Native Americans and Hispanics shared a significant difference as well (p<0.036). However, due to the uncertainty of racial demographic data, the extrapolation of these findings to the general population may not be appropriate for forensic investigation purposes.