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ANT205 - Nov 21 (Biological Profile).docx

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Carolan Wood

The Biological Profile - Biological profile o Sex, age, ancestry, stature st o 1 step in identification o If no known relative, DNA is useless; DNA in bones may be too degraded; DNA is expensive and very slow ; no centralized DNA database in Canada, so no potential matches if DNA is found o Guides investigation  Be cautious in what you state (if not 100% sure, say indeterminate) o If results ambiguous  Say so - Use caution in determining sex o If results unclear  “Indeterminate” o Incorrect sex assessment  Derail investigation  Stanley Park example (delay by 10 years) - Provide large age ranges o Estimated range must include actual age o Coroners and police like restricted age ranges  E.g. 25-28 years o If actual age was 30  Not selected from missing persons file  Investigation misdirected o Police take info literally - Ancestry is problematic o Skeletal assessment of ancestry  Compilation of biological features  Nose, skull shape o Interpreted in socio-cultural terms  First nations, etc; o CPIC simplifies ancestry  White/non-white - Limitations of stature o Reported stature often an estimate  How many people are measured for driver’s license o Stature calculations are estimates with large standard errors - How do forensic anthropologists deal with these problems? o Must be familiar with range of human variation  Lots of experience  Skeletal collections  Modern populations o Levels of variation  Personal – ID  Sexual dimorphism  Within populations – age  Between populations – regional variation o Mechanisms and processes that produce variation  Growth and development - Sex determination o Key information o 1755 people missing in BC (Oct 1999)  444 (25% female) o Many techniques age, ancestry, stature are sex dependent - Sex vs gender o Sex  Mechanisms and processes involved in reproduction  Determined at chromosomal level  Mediated at hormonal level  Expressed at reproductive level o Gender  Characteristics and behavioural roles identified by any group as being appropriate for a particular sex  Sex does not equal gender - Sex determination o Cultural items  Clothing, purse, breast implants, I.U.D.  May be faked or misleading, e.g. cross dresser o Temporary traits  Activity/cultural behaviour – specific time and space  E.g. chiinese foot binding o Permanent traits  Cross cultural - Sexual dimorphism o Differential rates of growth  Size and robusticity o Differential periods growth  Size and robe o Differential patterns of growth  Shape o Beginning primilary at puberty - Adolescene o Males = greater rate of growth  More extensive growth o Males = longer period of growth  Growth complete M= 18-21 vs F = 16-18 years o Males = larger, more robust bones - Robusticity o General term with several meanings o Index of width or circumference to length o Prominence of muscle markings o Cortical thickness of bone o Bone weight o Combination of the above o Population specific  To properly interpret robusticity  Must know total range of variation for the population o Large in one population may be small in another  First Nations are very robust vs. South Asian are less robust - Metric methods o Evaluate size and robusticity  Some shape o Measurements inserted into formula and compared to cut-off point  Male>cut-off
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