Information about the sex of individuals is important for human identification. This study was conducted to quantify classification rates of sex prediction models for Malaysians using odontometric profiles. Mesiodistal (MD) and buccolingual (BL) crown dimensions of the permanent dentition were studied in 400 young adult Malaysians, giving a total of 28 tooth size variables. The sample consisted of three major ethnic groups, the Malays, Chinese and Tamils, since the aim was to assess sex dimorphism in Malaysians as a whole. Results showed that the mesiodistal diameter of the lower canine was the most sexually dimorphic dimension in Malaysian Malays and Tamils. Univariate analyses showed that the magnitude and pattern of sex dimorphism varies between these three ethnic groups, with Malaysian Chinese and Tamils being more dimorphic than the Malaysian Malays. Stepwise discriminant functions were generated bearing in mind their application in practical forensic situations. The range of classification rates was from 70.2% to 78.5% for the composite Malaysian group, and 83.8%, 77.9%, 72.4% for Malaysian Chinese, Malays and Tamils, respectively. The 'Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve statistics' indicated good classification rates for three prediction models obtained using a combination of all tooth size variables, mandibular teeth, and mesiodistal dimensions in the composite Malaysian group, and for all tooth size variables in each ethnic group. The present study provides strong support for the value of odontometry as an adjunct scientific method for sex prediction in human identification.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.