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NCJ Number: 210510 Find in a Library
Title: Fingerprint Patterns: A Study on the Finger and Ethnicity Prioritized Order of Occurrence
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:55  Issue:4  Dated:July/August 2005  Pages:480-488
Author(s): Henry J. Swofford
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study shows a mathematical link between fingerprint pattern types, the ethnicity of the subject, and the finger on which they occur.
Abstract: A description of how fingerprint patterns are formed in a fetus suggests the possibility that fingerprint pattern types are an inheritable feature, albeit with unique individual features within inheritable types. To test this hypothesis, the author examined 2,000 fingerprint records that included 20,000 fingerprints, using the Athens/Clarke County Police Department (Georgia) records. A total of 5,000 fingerprints were examined for each of the 4 major ethnicities: White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic. Patterns were mathematically calculated and compared according to ethnicity and each finger. Although the results indicated that every fingerprint pattern occurred in every race, some fingerprint patterns clearly dominated some races more than others. Asians had more whorls in their fingerprints than other ethnicities, and Blacks' fingerprints tended to be dominated by loops and arches. Other distinctive patterns tended to dominate in Whites and Hispanics. General fingerprint patterns also dominated for particular fingers. Overall, the findings show the linkage of fingerprint pattern types, ethnicity, and the finger on which they occur. Additional validation studies are recommended. 2 tables and 4 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Comparative analysis; Ethnic groups; Fingerprints; Prenatal biological influences
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