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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • forensic odontology;
  • cheiloscopy;
  • lip prints;
  • human identification;
  • sexual dimorphism

Abstract:  Lip prints are thought to have the ability to distinguish individuals and, hence, have a potential use in human identification purposes. However, questions remain regarding their utility for sex determination. This study aimed to classify lip prints for different individuals in a Portuguese population and to determine whether sex differences exist. Lip prints of 25 females and 25 males were obtained using dark-colored lipstick and cellophane tape. Lip prints were analyzed using a magnifying lens and classified according to the Suzuki and Tsuchihashi classification. A Type II pattern was found to be most common. A comparison of lip-print patterns between males and females showed results with a statistically significant difference: Type III pattern was most common in males, and a Type II pattern in females. This study corroborates the hypothesis that lip prints are able to distinguish individuals and may be useful in sex determination.