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Sex Determination in Skeletal Remains
Determination of sex (cranial and postcranial methods)
± Bioprofile: Ancestry, Sex, Age, Descriptive traits: Stature, Handedness, Cranial and post cranial indices, Non metric traits
Determination of Sex
Refers to biological sex as indicated by the X and the Y chromosomes! Does not refer to culturally defined gender identities! 50% chance of correct assessment! Sex should be determined before age as there are morphological changes that depend on sex! The techniques are based on the theories of growth and sexual dimorphism - the relative size and the distinctive physical differences between males and females. Overlapping features are not uncommon!
Determination of Sex
Scoring system 1-5: »1 »2 »3 »4 »5 = = = = = Female, Possible Female Ambiguous Possible Male, Male
Subjective methods! If too many ambiguous features or features lean towards both sides equally = conclude sex undetermined !
the traits in both sexes may appear more masculine The Pelvic bones ± The most accurate attributes for sex diagnosis ± Becomes distinctive during the adolescent growth The Skull Other skeletal and dental elements via metrical data .Parameters for Sex Determination The sexual characteristics develop after puberty at different rates for males and females In elderly individuals.
Accuracy No method is 100% accurate. but some of them come close. The Pelvis alone gives an accuracy of 95% The skull alone 90% The pelvis and skull together 98% Long bones alone 80-90% Long bones and pelvis 95% Long bones and skull 90-95% (Krogman & Iscan 1986) .
Male Inlet Outlet Pelvic Cavity The male pelvis is narrow and long Female Inlet Outlet Pelvic Cavity The female pelvis is broad and squatter .
Subpubic Angle Female = Large angle (>90 degrees) Male = Small angle (<90 degrees) U-shaped. wide and rounded V-shaped. narrow and sharp .
Subpubic Concavity Female = Narrow and slightly concave Male = Broad and strait .
Width of the Pubic Body Female = Broad Male = Narrow .
Ischiopubic Ramus (Medial aspect) Female = Sharp edge Male = Broad edge .
Ventral Arch Female = Marked ventral arch Male = No marking .
Obturator Foramen Female = Triangular shape Male = Ovoid shape .
Greater Sciatic Notch Female Female angle is larger and wider. more than 68º Male Male angle is smaller. less than 68º . narrow and acute.
The Auricular Surface Female = Small and more L-shaped Male = Large and flat .
Or more often just absent . adjacent and parallel to the inferior surface of the sacroiliac joint. Female Male Female = well developed marked sulcus Actually only present in about 25% of women Male = small sulcus.Preauricular Sulcus The preauricular sulcus is a groove frequently seen on the iliac bone.
Acetabulum Female = Small-Medium Faces anterolaterally Male = Medium-Large Faces laterally .
See Bass (1995) .Sacrum Sacral alae are broad relative to body Sacral alae are narrow relative to body Female = Broad and short. Marked curvature at S1-2 and S3-5 Male = Narrow and large with an evenly distributed curvature.
Dimorphic characteristics vary between the ancestral groups! .Sex Differences of the Cranium The skull is the second most useful structure for determining sex.
Orbital Margin Occipital Protuberance/Nuchal Crest Mastoid Process Zygomatic Arch Mandible: ± Mental Eminence ± Ascending ramus ± Gonial angle .Sex Differences of the Cranium The size and architecture Frontal Bone Supra-Orbital Ridge (Glabella) Supra.
Frontal Bone Forehead is high and rounded with juvenile gracile appearance Forehead is low and slopes posteriorly. Loss of juvenile appearance .
Supra-Orbital Ridge (Glabella) Female Male Female = smooth Male = Prominent .
Supra-Orbital Margin Female Male Female = sharp margins The overall orbital outline is rounded Male = rounded margin The overall orbital outline is squared .
Occipital Protuberance /Nuchal Crest Female Male Female = No marked muscle attachments or protuberance (Not rugged) Male = Marked muscle attachments and pronounced protuberance (Rugged) .
attaches here! Female Male Female = Small ± medium Male = Medium ± Large. which holds the head up. Drop-shaped .Mastoid Process The Sterno-cleidomastoid muscle.
Male = Ends posterior to acustic meatus. Zygomatic process is thick. superior to mastoid process. Zygomatic bone is smooth and low. Zygomatic bone is smooth and low.Zygomatic Arch Female = Ends superior to acustic meatus. Zygomatic process is thin. .
Mental Eminence/Protuberance Female Male Inferior view of mandible Female = small and rounded Lower margin of mandible is thin Male = Large and projecting Lower margin of mandible is thick .
Ascending Ramus Female = Narrow Male = Broad .
Gonial Angle Female = Angle is wide (> 120 degrees) Male = Angle between 90-100 degrees Slight or no angle flaring Prominent angle flaring .
Discriminent Functions of the Cranium .
<61mm = F) (From France 1983.Metrical Data Used for Sexing Epicondyle breadth of Humerus (>61mm=M. cited in AFIP 2005: 40) .
Range charts of male (light) and female (dark) Caucasoid From Byers (2002:187) Negroid .
Metrical Data Used for Sexing .
(2008) Most pronounced sexual dimorphic traits evident in: 1. Length of mammilary process and pedicle Accuracy: up tp 90% Based on 102 Korean autopsi samples . Ratio of anterior middle height of body 3.12th Thoracic vertebra Yu et al. Coronal diameter of superior endplate of vertebral body 2.
2005) DNA! .Other Methods Discriminate functions for sex determination using (for example): The Internal Acoustic Meatus of the petrous portion ± Diameter: 70% accuracy (Lynnerup et al. 2006) ± Angle: 83% accuracy (Norén et al.
Trauma) .The Skeletal Report Layout Titel Page Abstract Introduction Inventory and Preservation Analysis: ± Ancestry ± Sex ± Age ± Descriptive traits: Stature Handedness Cranial and post cranial indeces Discussion & Conclusion References Appendices: ± Recording forms ± Photoes ± Radiographs ± Non metric traits ± Pathology (incl.
AD 16th -17th Century) Who excavated it? (e. police department.g. single burial or part of a cemetry.g. museum. organisation etc) .Introduction Case background: What (e. county) When ± when was it excavated ± When does it date (forensic or archaeological (e. mass grave) Where (site name.g. parish.
Pictures/drawings can speak a thousand words! Nobody wants to read a very descriptive inventory in words only!!!! MNI any additional remains should be identified and data derived from these should be stated.Inventory and Preservation Fill in present bones on a skeleton drawing and substantiate by text. .
75% present Poor = 50-25% present Very Poor = <25% present .Preservation Fragmented/Complete Complete = >75% present Partial = 50% .
g. scavenging. No evidence of remodelling. excavation . Erosion. Discolouration of bone.Perimortem vs postmortem damage Perimortem : Occurs at or near the time of death ± Regular. Staining from surrounding soil. Postmortem: Occurs after death ± Irregular. smooth edges. rough white edges . ± E. weathering. Absence of associated fracture lines. sharp. crumbly. linear. polished.
flaky) ± Density of bone dense or fragile/light bone (age and pathology may lead to weakness of bone. dark brown. . but no conclusions at this stage) ± Describe the postmortem damage (where it is analtomically). light yellow) ± Brief conclusions regarding the taphonomic history of the skeleton (burial environment.g. moisture/dryness. Usually with reference to archaeological record. evidence of scavenging. weathering (bleaching etc). ± Describe colour of bone (e. Acidic/alkine soil. porous.g.Preservation ± Describe surface structure of bone (e.
Ancestry Methodology: Anthroposcopy: Cranio-facial variation and post-cranial variations and Osteometry: Metric observations (Cranid/Fordisc) Results .
Sex Describe what you see Reference the methods you use! State the accuracy rate of the methods (only in forensic reports) Results .
Age Describe Reference methods Discuss accuracy (forensic reports) Results .
Brachycrany = broad and round headed) Handedness Parity? .g. accuracy) Craniometrics (e. results.Descriptive Traits Stature (methods. bones used.
Non Metric Variation Cranial Post-cranial Dental .
pathologies Discussion of findings Conclusion .And more .
Department of Anthropology. University of Colorado.D dissertation. Krogman WM and I can MY (1986) The human skeleton in forensic medicine. De Vito C and Saunders SR (1990) A discriminant function analysis of deciduous teeth to determine sex. Boston. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 13:479-487 Jantz RL and Moore-Jansen PH (1988) A database for forensic anthropology: Structure. (2008) Sex Discrimination Potential of Buccolingual and Mesiodistal Tooth Dimensions. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 128(3):318-323 . Knoxville. Hunt EE and Gleser I (1955) The estimation of age and sex of pre-adolescent children from bones and teeth. Virginia Black T (1978) A new method for assessing the sex of fragmentary skeletal remains femoral shaft circumference. Ashburn. SN (2002) Introduction to forensic anthropology. Czarnetzki A and Graw M (2005) The Lateral Angle.National Transportation Safety Board Training Academy. University of Tennessee. Lynnerup N. Journal of Forensic Science 53(4):790-792 AFIP (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) (2005) 18th Annual Forensic Anthropology Manual. Schulz M. content and analysis. Submitted to National Institute of Justice. Unpublished Ph. Lynnerup N. Allyn and Bacon. Journal of Forensic Science 35:845-858 France D (1983) Sexual dimorphism in the human humerus. Springfield IL: Charles C Thomas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 25:333-339 Byers. 2nd ed. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 16:118-123. Madelung A and Graw M (2006) Diameter of the human internal acoustic meatus and sex determination. A method for sexing using the petrous bone. National Museum of Health and Medicines. Norén A. Report of Investigations No 47. A textbook.Literature cited Acharya AB and Mainali S. Boulder.
Schutkowski H (1993) Sex determination of infant and juvenile skeletons: I morphological features. Zhao J. Sex differences in the pubic bone of Bantu and Bushman. Washburn SL (1948) Sex differences in the pubic bone. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 6(2):199-208 Washburn SL (1949). Kwak D-S. Journal of Forensic Science 53(3):620-625 . Journal of Forensic Sciences 53(2): 269-278 Yu S-B. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 90:199-206 Stables D and Rankin J (2004). Lee U-Y. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 7(3):425-432 Wilson LA. Ahn Y-W. Sui H-J and Han S-H (2008) Determination of Sex for the 12th Thoracic Vertebra by Morphometry of Three-dimentional Reconstructed Vertebral Models. Physiology in childbearing with anatomy and related biosciences. Macleod N and Humphrey LT (2008) Morphometric criteria for sexing juvenile human skeletons using the ilium. England: Elsevier. Jin C-Z.