A comparative study on digit ratio and hand patterns of three ethnic races of Malaysia

Satheesha B. Nayak, Dhiviah Nair, Vimal Ravi, Ashwini P. Aithal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To distinguish the characteristic hand pattern of each of the three different ethnicities in Malaysia and to study the hand pattern correlation between race and gender. Method: Individual lengths of the fingers were then measured and tabulated to serve as the basis for analyzing the 2D (second digit):4D (fourth digit) hand ratio. Based on this ration, the hand patterns were classified as A, B, and C types. Results: Hand pattern A (2D<4D) appears to be the most characteristic trait in Malays. The highest scoring hand pattern in Chinese is A as well with scores of 52% in their right hands and 60% in their left hands. In Indians, hand pattern C (2D>4D) shows dominance in their right hands with a score of 46% while hand pattern A dominates their left hands. Among the males, all three races show dominance in hand pattern A except in Chinese whereby the C hand pattern was dominant in their right hands (44%). Among the females, the most common trait in Malays and Chinese are the hand pattern A in both their hands. Indian females, however, showed dominance in hand pattern C in their right hands (60%), and hand pattern B (2D = 4D) dominated in their left hands (44%). Results of the statistical analysis revealed that there was a highly significant difference in the hand patterns of both the hands when compared to gender. Conclusion: The study suggests that ratio below or equal to 0.90 is suggestive of female sex for both hands, while a ratio of more than 0.91 is suggestive of male sex for both hands. The pattern A (2D<4D) is seen to be the most common trait among the three ethnicities of Malaysia with an exception seen in the right hands of Indians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
JournalEgyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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