The alphoid satellite family is the only repetitive DNA family showing chromosome specificity. We have developed a simple, rapid, and reliable test for sex diagnosis based on detection of these sequences in undigested genomic DNA using the polymerase chain reaction. In our test, dried blood specimens were the source of DNA. When female DNA was used as a template for the reaction, only the expected 130-bp X-chromosome-specific fragment was detected, while with male DNA both the expected 170-bp Y-chromosome-specific and X-chromosome-specific fragments were detected. The Y-chromosome-specific fragment was further characterized by restriction enzyme analysis. The Y fragment was detectable when DNA obtained from an equivalent of 10 microliters of spotted blood was used in the reaction, whereas detection of the X fragment was possible with DNA from an equivalent of 5 microliters of blood. Our test may find various applications in newborn screening and in forensic science.