Discriminant analysis of mandibular measurements for the estimation of sex in a modern Brazilian sample

Thais Torralbo Lopez-Capp, Christopher Rynn, Caroline Wilkinson, Luiz Airton Saavedra de Paiva, Edgard Michel-Crosato, Maria Gabriela Haye Biazevic (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of mandibular measurements for sex determination in a Brazilian population. The sample was composed of 100 mandibles, of which 53 were female and 47 were male, and the average age was 57.03 years. The mandible measurement protocol was composed of 15 measurements, of which six were bilateral and nine were unique. Mandibles were directly measured using a digital caliper and a protractor. The descriptive analysis of the present study revealed higher mean values for male mandibles compared to those for female mandibles with the exception of the left mandibular angle. Among the 21 measures analyzed in this group, 15 were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Univariate discriminant analyses produced a mean percentage of correct predictions that varied between 49 and 79%. The association of variables increased the percentage of correct prediction of sex to vary from 76 to 86%. The receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated that the best variable for estimating sex was bigonial breadth (BGB; area under the ROC curve (AUC) = 0.764) followed by the right maximum ramus height (MRHr; AUC = 0.763). A reference table for estimating sex in a Brazilian population using mandible measurements was developed based on the ROC curve analysis. Mandibular measures provide a simple and reliable method for sex discrimination in Brazilian adults due to the sexual dimorphism revealed by analysis of the metric variables and the satisfactory results demonstrated by discriminant formulas, ROC curve analysis, and the reference table.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-851
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date26 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Forensic anthropology
  • Forensic dentistry
  • Human identification
  • Mandible
  • Sex determination by skeleton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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