Determining sex may be more difficult in cases such as natural disasters, accidents or situations in which bodies are subjected to high temperatures, when individuals must be identified from their remains. The mandible is a very strong bone, presents high sexual dimorphism and may be useful in forensic identification. The object of the present study was to determine sex by metrical analysis of macerated mandibles of Brazilian adults. We analysed 113 fully dentate macerated mandibles of Brazilian adults, 47 belonging to women and 66 to men. We took 8 measurements using a digital calliper: bicondilar breadth (BC), bigonial breadth (BG), bimental foramina breadth (BM), distance between mental foramen and mandibular base (MF-MB), mandibular ramus height (MRH), maximum mandibular ramus breadth (MaRB), minimum mandibular ramus breadth (MiRB) and mandibular body length (MBL). The t test was used for statistical analysis of independent samples, and a ROC curve was constructed. Direct and stepwise discriminant analysis was carried out. SPSS v.22 software was used, with a significance threshold of 5 %. We observed that all the measurements presented statistically significant differences between the sexes, with greater mean values for men than for women. BG was the measurement which presented the greatest area under curve (AUC), and the highest correct prediction, followed by MRH and BC. The BM distance presented the smallest AUC and lowest correct prediction. The mean correct prediction was 85 % for direct discriminant analysis and 83.2 % for stepwise discriminant analysis, using the BG and MRH measurements. The measurements analysed in this study can be used to determine the sex of Brazilian individuals.
KEY WORDS: Mandible; Sexual prediction; Discriminant analysis.