The mandibular canine index (MCI) may be useful in determining the sex of human remains. It is a simple and inexpensive test that can work on partial remains.


(1) mesiodistal width of mandibular canine in mm (width of canine tooth parallel to mandibular arch)

(2) inter-canine width in mm (distance between mandibular canines)


Both the mesiodistal and inter-canine widths tend to be larger in males.


mandibular canine index =

= (mesiodistal width) / (inter-canine width)



The precise cut-off for sex determination varies in different populations.

One issue is the degree of overlap between the sexes.

A ratio less than 0.26 probably is female.

A ratio greater than 0.30 is probably male.



Some authors claim that the index is relatively accurate.

Other authors find that the index is inaccurate.

Some performance may be related to the racial group.

Measurements must be precise and standardized since differences in canine width can be less than a millimeter.

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